The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has said that the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) does not have the legal right to bar ”House Officers” from joining the strike.
This is contained in a statement signed by NARD National President, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, and Dr Jerry Isogun, Secretary in Awka on Wednesday.
They dismissed the threat by the MDCN that House Officers who joined the ongoing nationwide strike would be sacked or made to repeat their internship.
They described the threat as an expensive joke and imagination of one man.
Ripples Nigeria learned that Dr T.A.B Sanusi, Registrar of MDCN in a statement titled: “Press Release On Professional Ethics For House Officers,” said that house officers who embarked on strike will be reposted with no pay.
“During the housemanship, doctors and dentists are required to undertake 12 weeks’ uninterrupted postings in each of Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Paediatrics and other relevant specialties for dentistry.
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“Embarking on strike actions by House Officers will lead to repeat of the posting(s) afresh without remuneration.
“House officers are therefore advised to avoid participation in activities like industrial actions that could lead to interruption in their postings,” he stated.
However, in its response, NARD urged the MDCN to stick to its limit of influence as contained in the Act establishing it and avoid dabbling into union matters that were beyond its purview.
“NARD and members are operating within the confines of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Labour Laws of our dear country.
“The MDCN has a humongous task of regulating medical practice amidst a population laden with quackery, which he has not been able to solve and thus should stick to it.
“There are still some of our members (House Officers) who are being owed salaries in spite of being on the MDCN House Officers Platform.
“We are amazed that in spite of these loopholes and flaws in the system MDCN is managing, it should to time to chase shadows about how doctors express their Constitutional right to associate.
“Worthy of note is the fact that House Officers membership of NARD has been determined by a competent Court in Nigeria and several reminder circulars have also been released by the Federal Ministry of Health,” they stated.
NARD however restated its readiness to collaborate with MDCN on areas of improved health system and workers’ welfare.
“We will not be cajoled or blackmailed into accepting an abnormal situation because we are colleagues when we can do better,” they stated.
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