Doctors under the aegis of National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) have stage a protest in front of the National Assembly demanding the immediate payment of salaries of their members in state hospitals, which run into nine months in some cases.
They also demanded the implementation of the National Health Act 2014, which they said the Federal Government has been unwilling to implement. The protesters called for the immediate revamping of tertiary health institutions in the country, saying facilities in the institutions were in deplorable conditions nationwide.
President of the Association, Dr. Onyebueze John Ugochukwu lamented the nonchalant approach of government to the plight of the doctors, stressing that the Federal Ministry of Health has failed to implement a unified template on residency training programme.
Ugochukwu accused government of doctoring a report on the template for the doctors’ residency training programme, produced by a ministerial committee in 2014 but which the Federal Ministry of Health is keeping in abeyance.
The doctors also condemned what they described as selective implementation of the ‘no-work-no-pay rule’, regretting that the rule is selectively applied only in cases involving resident doctors.
After waiting in the scorching sun for several hours, the doctors were eventually addressed by the Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions, Mohammed Jega.
Jega, who came in company of another Rep member, pleaded with the doctors to exercise patience with the Federal Government and assured them that their grievances would be looked into.