The Federal Government has issued a directive to Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of Federal Tertiary Hospitals regarding the ongoing strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD). As part of this directive, the implementation of the “no work, no pay” policy has been ordered for the striking doctors.
To ensure accountability and track attendance, the hospitals have been instructed to keep an attendance register for all resident doctors who are willing to continue their duties during the strike.
The letter, dated August 1, 2023, was titled, “Re: Incessant strike action by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors: Implementation of ‘No Work, No Pay’ policy of the Federal Government,” was signed by the Director of Hospital Services, Dr Andrew Noah.
Recall that NARD embarked on an indefinite strike on July 26, 2023, to press home its demands.
The strike could not be averted following the expiration of a two-week ultimatum to the government to meet its demands.
The doctors’ demands include enforcement of the one-for-one replacement policy for healthcare workers, and the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to halt the downgrading of membership certificates issued by the West African Postgraduate Medical and Surgical Colleges. They also requested the prompt settlement of all outstanding salary arrears, the adoption of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, a revised hazard allowance, and the domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act, among other requests.
In the letter, the government condemned the striking individuals, accusing them to be insensitive.
“The various conciliatory meetings by the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment with government stakeholders, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and the National Assembly have proved abortive.
“I am directed to inform you that the Federal Ministry of Health has instituted the policy of ‘No work, No Pay’ against the striking resident doctors in line with circular Ref. No.58598/8.1/II/182 dated June 22, 2016.
“I am further directed to request you to maintain an attendance register for all residents willing to work and furnish the ministry of such name on a monthly basis,” the letter read in part.
Secretary General of NARD, Dr. Kelechi Chikezie, while reacting to the directive, said it was anticipated
“We have seen the letter and we will meet as leaders of NARD to take a position on that.
But that policy is not new to us, and we would not say we were not expecting it. However, the position of NARD will meet and take a position on it,” Chikezie said.