SWITZERLAND, JUNE 19 – The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said on Thursday said that the strike embarked on by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
Speaking during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja, the minister confirmed the validity of complaints issued by the doctors after speaking with the association’s representatives.
He, however, noted that some of the issues raised were within the purview of state governments.
On the issue of personal protective equipment, Ehanire said, “We will make sure it is available in all the places where it is to be used. Sometimes, it may be that the warehouse of a particular facility has not given it out.”
Ehanire stated it was erroneous to assume that the Federal Government could dictate to states regarding certain complaints.
“We can only put in a word, but we can’t deal with the state problems within the state.
“I also explained that this COVID-19 period is not a good time to withdraw services because people’s lives can be at risk.
“I believe that they will do the right thing and go back to their duties as assigned,” the minister said.
Also, health workers under the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Health Care Professionals yesterday asked the Federal Government to pay the hazard and inducement allowances promised them.
In a June 15 letter to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, they said their demand is hinged on the government’s decision to release N4 billion to NARD members.
The unions described the decision as “an action that classified JOHESU members as second class citizens” despite also being on the frontline.
The letter, signed by the Chairman and Acting Secretary of JOHESU, Biobelemoye Josiah and Matthew Ajorutu, was also addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Minister of Health.
They called for the immediate implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated April 21.