The Federal Government has passed the blame for ongoing Resident Doctors strike to the State Governments.
According to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), most of the demands by striking National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, are actually ought to be taken care of by the States.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, passed this blame while addressing the media on Thursday, in Abuja.
According to Ehanire, the doctors were using the anxiety surrounding the third wave of COVID-19 to push their demands, stating that seven out of the 12 demands presented by NARD were within the jurisdiction of the state governments.
He disclosed that these were not justifiable cause for a nationwide strike.
“In their notice of July 25, 2021, they mentioned states like Imo, Kaduna, Delta and Lagos. The Federal Government cannot force these states to do anything.
“For the issues surrounding the Federal Government, not all of these issues are for the Ministry of Health. The payment lies within the powers of the Accountant General of the Federation. We are also working with other agencies to sort out some of these issues.”
Ehanire, expressed the hope that the doctors would understand that the ongoing strike would not give them a good image.
“I believe they will call a meeting and reassess some of the issues they tabled.
“We already have people who have retired coming in to say they want to step in. This is not a good time to go on strike.”
The Minister said; “It is actually difficult to say we want to combat the brain drain of doctors. They see the salaries there as being expensive and most of them do not want to serve in rural areas.
“In Nigeria, we are not the only ones suffering from it. Some other developing countries also suffer it too. Because they studied in English they easily get into those countries.
“We are also working to make sure that working conditions in Nigeria are favourable. That is why we are also working on the issues of hazard allowances.
“I understand that states are now issuing bonding, so, once they are trained, they cannot leave the states. We hope the young doctors understand fully.”