The Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nyesom Wike, has issued a stern warning to resident doctors in Abuja who have been contemplating strike actions. Wike expressed his reluctance to pay doctors who engage in strikes while he holds his ministerial position and stated his readiness to address the issue in a legal context.
In his address to the resident doctors, Wike conveyed his stance on the matter, emphasizing that he stands to benefit financially when they go on strike. He further asserted that even if they return from a strike, he would not compensate them, and any such decision would be determined through a legal process.
Wike stressed the importance of practical solutions and not mere promises. He underlined his belief in addressing tangible issues rather than relying on theoretical assurances.
Notably, the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has been intermittently going on strike due to the federal government’s failure to meet their demands. The doctors’ demands include the immediate disbursement of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), concrete steps towards an “upward review” of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS), and the settlement of all outstanding salary arrears dating back to 2015.
Additionally, the resident doctors are calling for the immediate recruitment of clinical staff in hospitals and the removal of bureaucratic obstacles hindering the swift replacement of doctors and nurses who leave the healthcare system. They also seek an immediate revision of hazard allowances by state governments and private tertiary health institutions where residency training is conducted.