President of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi has fired back a revolving salvo at the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige stressing that Ngige has lost “touch with medicine”.
But could Uyilawa a far junior Doctor to Ngige be true? Ngige, after the saga that removed him as Anambra State Governor decades ago when Uyilawa was probably struggling with his school certificate examinations actually said he has dropped the stethoscope and would need an update to catch up in modern medicine.
On Thursday, resident doctors embarked on an indefinite strike over salary arrears and owed allowances.
Ngige, while speaking on Friday, said the federal government will invoke “weapons in the labor laws” on the resident doctors if they refuse to back down painting a picture of force.
The minister, who is a medical doctor, also claimed that UK and US residents doctors pay for their residency training programme, while the federal government pays resident doctors in Nigeria and even gives allowances for books and examinations.
Reacting, the NARD president said: “The falsehood he spreads on the media saying that they buy books for us and every other thing that means that he has lost touch with medicine.
“If I may go back, I’m a resident, an orthopedic resident in training. I know that I go for up to five to six updates and I paid for my examination and we still work for it.”
Asked if the federal government has met any of its seven demands, Okhuaihesuyi said the only demand met is the abolishment of the bench fee.
The NARD president noted that the resident doctors will continue the strike until the government meets all its demands.
He said the insincerity of the federal government in the implementation of agreements is the cause of the strike.
Okhuaihesuyi said: “The minister was part of the negotiation team that drove the MOU, a few months back and if you go back to that MOU, you see that more than 80 percent of the MOU is also in this MOU.
“Is there sincerity there? That you expected us to go and sign that you go to sleep after signing the MOU and think we are serving our members well.
“We are going to continue the total and indefinite strike until all these are met and he can use the big cane and the antics of the government – no work, no pay or bring local doctors.”
The NARD president said the federal government can employ “local doctors” while the strike lasts.