It is one thing to send people to farm and it is another thing to give them tools that will help them deliver. However, for the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, the doctors must be at work whether they are happy or sad.
Wike has issued a stern warning to resident doctors in Abuja after their threat of embarking on strike.
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have been on-and-off industrial actions due to the Federal Government’s failure to meet its demands.
The doctors’ demands, among many others, include:
- The immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF)
- Tangible steps on the upward review of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS)
- Payment of all salary arrears owed its members since 2015.
The doctors also want an immediate massive recruitment of clinical staff in the hospitals and the abolishment of bureaucratic limitations to replace doctors and nurses who leave the system quickly.
They also want the immediate review of hazard allowance by all the state governments and private tertiary health institutions where any form of residency training is done.
Addressing resident doctors in Abuja, Wike said doctors were free to make their recommendations, and the Federal Government will look into them.
The Minister expressed displeasure over the industrial action, stressing that he would make more money when doctors embark on strike.
No Work, No Pay
Wike said he would not pay doctors who embarked on strike.
According to him, he is ready to contend with them in court.
He said: “Make your recommendations, and we will see the ones we can do and those we can’t do.
“Don’t threaten me with a strike because I don’t like it.
“When you go on strike, I save money; even if you come back, I won’t pay; we will determine it in court.
“It’s not about promises but the reality on ground, I don’t believe in theory”.