By Nwafor Sunday
Federal Government Wednesday asked the Management officials of federal tertiary hospitals across the country to replace striking doctors with Corps Members.
This is to help fight coronavirus that has bedeviled human kind.
Disclosing this in a statement, Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, said its high time well-meaning medical professionals should close ranks and confront the common enemy, which is the COVID-19 pandemic threatening mankind.
Recall that the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) had embarked on a nationwide strike on Monday over the non-payment of their COVID-19 hazard allowance and other demands.
Quashing their submission, the minister of state for health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, said the Federal Government is committed to the welfare of health workers in the country.
Speaking when he appeared on Sunrise Daily, a programme on Channels Television, Mamor, said: “We have been able to disburse close to N20 billion and I repeat close to N20 billion. So, to now say nothing has been done, that is not true”.
On commitment, Ehanire opined: “We must remember that the primary duty of doctors and all health workers is to save lives. Embarking on a strike in this time that the country is battling with the COVID-19 pandemic is ill-timed and ill-advised.
“It is a critical time in which all well-meaning medical professionals should close ranks and confront the common enemy, which is the COVID-19 pandemic threatening mankind.
“This is therefore one strike too many. Besides, most of the demands have been met and others, though difficult, are at an advanced stage of implementation. A little patience would have made a big difference.”
“COVID-19 treatment outlets should continue to function as before; emergency services should continue to run as before; routine services should be maintained with consultants, NYSC Doctors; locum staffers to be brought in when and where necessary to forestall services disruption when applicable and affordable.
“I call on the NARD to return to work and engage the Federal Government in completing the ongoing due process of implementing the MoU between NARD and government.
“I wish to assure the general public that measures have been put in place to ensure that they continue to access services at all our federal tertiary hospitals across the country.”