The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire has asked the Chief Medical Directors of federal tertiary hospitals to immedatley start using consultants and National Youth Service Corps members to provide routine serice in hospitals.
Issuing this directive in a statement on Wedneday, Ehanire said that locum staffers should “be brought in when and where necessary to forestall services’ disruption when applicable and affordable”.
Also condeming the strike action by the health workers, Ehanire said the strike was ill-timed and ill-advised.
“lt is with deep concern that l view the ongoing strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors which commenced yesterday (Tuesday) September 7, 2020.
“We must member that the primary duty of doctors and all health workers is to save lives. Embarking on a strike in this time that the country is battling with the COVlD-19 pandemic is ill-timed and ill-advised.
“lt is a critical time in which all well-meaning medical professionals should close ranks and confront the common enemy, which is the COVlD-I9 pandemic threatening mankind.
“This is therefore one strike too many. Besides, most of the demands have been met and others though difficult, are at an advanced stage of implementation. A little patience would have made a big difference," he said.
Directing CMDs and MDs to turn to consultants and corps members while the Medical doctors continues their industrial action, Ehanire said:
“The Federal Ministry of Health finds it necessary to ensure measures are put in place to mitigate the effect of this strike on the generality of our populace by directing the CMDs/MDs of our federal tertiary hospitals to immediately do the following: COVlD-19 treatment outlets should continue to function as before.
“Emergency services should continue to run as before. Routine services should be maintained with Consultants, NYSC Doctors. Locum staffers to be brought in when and where necessary to forestall services disruption when applicable and affordable.
“I call on the NARD to return to work and engage the Federal Government in completing the ongoing due process of implementing the MoU between NARD and government.
“I wish to assure the general public that measures have been put in place to ensure that they continue to access services at all our federal tertiary hospitals across the country."