The Federal Government has said striking resident doctors gave impossible conditions before they would sign the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, agreed at their last conciliatory meeting.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, who gave the insight on why the resident doctors declined to sign the MoU after the meeting with stakeholders in the health sector, said the sum of N4.8 billion has been set aside as residency training fund for the striking doctors in the country.
Ngige disclosed this during a meeting with the Chairman of Forum Chairmen of Health Institutions in Nigeria (FCHIN), Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, at the weekend.
Recall that resident doctors under the umbrella of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, had embarked on indefinite strike over the alleged inability of the government to address their concernsNgige said the resident doctors wanted government to exempt them from the application of Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act that provides for no work, no pay sanctions for striking workers.While giving updates on the efforts being made to meet the demands of the doctors, the Minister said that the implementation of the MOU signed on August 21 with doctors was on course.He said government has adopted a holistic approach to tackling the challenges in the health sector, noting that some of the issues in contention cut across sectors.He further stated that government bent backward to improve the ease of the practice of medicine in the country despite dwindling resources.Jaja described the strike by the NARD as insensitive considering what the country is going through.
He assured the minister that his group will meet the resident doctors with a view to persuading them to call off the strike, saying strike should be the last resort when every other effort had been exhausted in terms of finding a solution to whatever the problem is.
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