THE Federal Government has pleaded with resident doctors to consider the plight of the 80 per cent of the citizenry in need of Healthcare.
Resident Doctors have threatened to withdraw their services if the government fails to meet their demands.
Pleading with them not to embark on strike, the government said the country was in a bad place health-wise because of the impact of the COVID – 19 pandemics on the health sector.
Speaking at a conciliatory meeting with the leadership of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) yesterday, in Abuja, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said the majority of the welfare issues under contention were almost resolved even before the letter of complaint and notification of planned strike action was delivered at the ministry.
The Minister in his opening remarks before the meeting went into a closed session, said the government had started discussions on hazard health allowance for health workers in the country.
Ngige noted that as a conciliator, the complaints of the doctors have been adequately communicated to the relevant ministries.
He further said that several meetings have been ongoing and proposals drew to address the situation before it degenerates into a strike.
According to him, “We are here because we have started solving your issues. We put up proposals with given timelines on how to deal with them.
We will look at those proposals with you, fix adequate timelines so that the people on the government side will be implementing and marking them as they execute them.
“I have held informal meetings with the finance ministry and they told me they have started solving some of the problems, the two committees in the National Assembly have also tried to get you and your employers on the same page. We have to intervene to ensure industrial peace in the health industry.
“The NEC unanimously demanded the sack of the Registrar of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria for failure to demonstrate competence in the handling of the central placement of house officers. This will give room for smooth implementation of the central placement of house officers without further delays.
“Finally, the NEC reiterated her commitment to the smooth running of all tertiary institutions in the country and the provision of specialist healthcare to Nigerians but urge the Federal Government to urgently meet the above demands in order to avert this avoidable industrial action.”