BY Jesupemi Are
The resident doctors began a five-day warning strike on Wednesday due to the federal government’s inability to meet their demands.
Some of the demands include massive recruitment of clinical staff in the hospitals; immediate infrastructural development in hospitals and an allocation of at least 15% of the budgetary provisions to health; immediate payment of the 2023 medical residency training fund (MRTF); and the immediate increment in the consolidated medical salary structure (CONMESS) to the tune of 200% of the gross salary of doctors.
The withdrawal of the anti-brain drain bill from the national assembly is a key demand of the association.
Speaking on Wednesday during a Channels Television programme, the minister said the resident doctors disregarded the efforts of the NMA.
“The resident doctors are part of NMA. They are young doctors in training,” he said.
“So if NMA is negotiating on their behalf as the parent body, what these young people (resident doctors) are doing is disrespecting the NMA.
“They are crying wolf when there is none.”
On Tuesday, the minister said the NMA was holding talks with the ministry of health, the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission and the presidential committee on salaries, on a pay rise for doctors.
He had advised the doctors to give room for dialogue, adding that the warning strike action is “unknown to the law”.
He warned that the health minister would instruct teaching hospitals to employ ad-hoc staff while the warning strike lasts — and pay them with the money meant for the striking doctors.
“It is incongruous for students doctors to embark on strike when consultants training them were already negotiating with the federal government,” Ngige had said.