Medical practitioners under the aegis of the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, have fixed September 30 as the deadline for the federal and state governments to resolve all outstanding issues in the health sector or face an industrial action by its members.
The decisive ultimatum of the association was made by the newly-elected President, Dr. John Onyebueze, while addressing a press conference at the end of the 26th Annual General Meeting of the Association in Enugu state.
Onyebueze, while describing the current state of public health care delivery in the country as deplorable, demanded an immediate implementation of pending agreements reached between the government and health workers.
He stated that that the union “cannot guarantee industrial harmony in the health sector if this persists beyond the payment of September salaries.”
The union president also outlined the burning issues to include improvement of infrastructure, urgent action against poliomyelitis and Lassa fever, as well as immediate release and implementation of the report on the Residency Training Programme.
He continued: “Are you talking about the rickety beds in the accident and emergency? We do not even have gloves and emergency tools. We do not have pens to write and make prescriptions. We are saying that this thing must not continue.
“The Federal Government should expedite action on the release of the bailout funds for State Tertiary Health Institutions as agreed earlier.
“The Federal Government should as a matter of urgency ensure the migration of all our members to the IPPIS platform.
“Centres that are not deducting pension contributions from our members should immediately commence, while all centres should ensure full remittance of deducted contributions of our members to the Pension Fund Administrators.
“In line with extant labour laws, we reject in its entirety the ‘no work no pay’ rule as currently being applied by the Federal Ministry of Health.”