The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has cried out that some government agencies have been threatening them to call off their ongoing strike.
The National President of NARD, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi raised the alarm on Saturday in an interview with The Punch, adding that even though they had the duty to save lives, they are first human beings who had needs and should not be denied their entitlements.
“Since this strike started, I have received calls from many government agencies to shelve the strike. Some are in form of threats. It’s that bad. They think it is politics, forgetting that we cannot play politics with human lives. We are professionals and being a doctor means you have sworn an oath to take care of lives but when you are hungry or you become a patient, what is your fate?”
The NARD President also accused the government of not being fair in the way it was treating them. He said: “Resident doctors make up about 70 per cent of all the doctors in the workforce in Nigeria. That is independent of the challenge many doctors have in securing placement for their residency programme and that is also a big challenge.
“That was why we mentioned doctors on Government Integrated Financial Management Information System platform in our communiqué. That is the platform used in paying doctors that are not fully employed in the hospitals, and so there was leakage and fraud in the platform and it was closed. That means the number of doctors on the GIFMIS platform, which was over 3,000, have all stayed for four months without being paid.
“You can’t place an embargo on the employment of doctors while the ones employed are not being paid.
“That is why you cannot blame the people that are leaving (Nigeria). Doctors are first of all human beings and they need to survive before they can treat people. So, when they have not been paid for four months, how do they treat others? Therefore, this is a fight for survival.”