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Nigerian govt urges doctors to shelve strike, may withhold salaries for 5 days



The Federal Government on Tuesday described as illegal, the five-day warning strike declared by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

The doctors are expected to begin the warning strike on Wednesday following the federal government’s failure to address their demands.

They are demanding an immediate review of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure by 200 percent of current salaries, immediate withdrawal of bill on compulsory five-year service in Nigeria for graduates of medicine and dentistry before approval of license for full medical practice, and immediate implementation of CONMESS, among others.

In his remark shortly after the NARD executive committee presented to him the letter on the planned strike, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, urged the association to dialogue with the federal government on their grievances.

READ ALSO: Resident doctors begin warning strike Wednesday

He said: “I will advise the resident doctors to attend the meeting with the minister of health tomorrow (Wednesday). I will also advise them very strongly not to go on a five-day warning strike. There is nothing like a warning strike. A strike is a strike.

“If they want to take that risk, the options are there. It is their decision. They have the right to strike. You cannot deny them that right. But their employer has another right under Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act, to withhold their pay for those five days.

“So, if the NARD has strike funds to pay their members for those five days, no problem. The minister of health will instruct the teaching hospitals to employ ad hoc people for those five days and they will use the money of the people who went on strike to pay the ad hoc doctors.”

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