The Nigerian Government has directed Chief Medical Directors of health institutions across the country to open attendance registers for resident doctors beginning from Wednesday, insisting that those, who fail to show up for work would be identified and appropriately dealt with.
Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, gave the order after a meeting with members of the National Association of Resident Doctors ended in a deadlock on Tuesday.
The conciliatory meeting was at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, who mediated between the resident doctors and the Ministry of Health.
Ehanire, who spoke shortly after the talks with the leadership of NARD, noted that health is very important at this crucial time.
He said, “We are ready to protect the lives of Nigerians; we are not going to allow our hospitals to fallow.
“One day, you will be sitting where we are sitting; you will be going through the same thing we are going through; it is a circle of life.
“In other countries, we have seen retired doctors and workers come out of retirement. Nigeria is the first country in the world where health workers went on strike during a pandemic.
“We at the ministry of health are ready to protect the lives of Nigerians, we are not going to allow our hospitals to fallow.
“The government has an obligation to support and keep the health of every Nigerians.
“The resident doctors have told us that they are not returning to work very soon until certain conditions are met and they cannot keep extending the goal post any time they like.
“Those who report to work will be taken as those who are still in service and the register will be closed at 12 noon and by then we will know who want to still be in service.”