The strike is entering its 2nd week and it seems there is no end in sight. Some have been asking me, ‘What is the reason for this present strike’. Well, see the official reason why all Federal teaching hospitals and Federal medical centres are on strike. See the challenges Doctors face and get to know more behind the scene details of the strike.
Thanks to Dr Obinna For sharing this piece of detail, exclusively with DoctorsQuarters.com
FROM NARD PRESIDENT:
Good day My leaders and fellow NARDITEs.
We have found ourselves yet in another Time of our lives when we have to Agitate collectively to get things done rightly for the sake of Our Profession and our Nation through our Association.
We are forced by the unfortunate attitudes of some powerful few to embark on an AVOIDABLE NATIONWIDE INDEFINITE STRIKE ACTION from tomorrow the 20th of June 2016.
My Comrades, NARD has done fully well what any responsible professional group should do. It is the The Govt and her Agents and Agencies that feel NIGERIANS MUST suffer through another cycle of avertable disruption of services.
We have first of all given 21 days ultimatum which started from 4th April 2016. Immediately, the HMH came on air and told Nigerians that Drs would not go on this strike, that the Govt would intervene and resolve the matter before the end of that of ultimatum. Few days later NARD was in attendance when NMA visited PMB and the matter was raised and PMB told us that his govt is t ready to honour all signed agreements reached with the previous regimes. The HMH again posited that he would ensure all other items were sorted out and so fixed a meeting on 11th of April.
The meeting of 11th of April was held and a lot of issues were deliberated and timeline were reached for achieving all the actionable plans, with each action designated to a particular office and officers. We all agreed a review meeting should take place on 25th April in far away sokoto to ascertain the level of achievements and progress made. Throughout that period, NOC and other Negotiators stayed back to resolve the impasse. We had series of meetings with other relevant govt agents and agencies. Finally, we were in sokoto, a review meeting was never to be. Why? All the principal officers of the FMOH were in sokoto and the NARD was in sokoto, but the review meeting which was supposed to be a Tangible position to avert the commencement of a looming strike action was never held. Why? Was it because the various actionable plans were not carried out by the designated officers or was there a grand design to frustrate the Government of PMB and Give it a bad light. This was happening at the time when PMB was reassured that the issues would be sorted out before the 25th April.
That notwithstanding, NARD had her eNEC and even went ahead to extend the period of the ultimatum by another two weeks just to ensure the Goodwill shown by NASS and PMB is not jettisoned.
All the above concessions from NARD came in despite the overt threat and disdain the leadership of the FMOH showed to NARD during the period of the ultimatum.
Since after the extension of the ultimatum till the time of review by NARD on the 8th of May, FMOH did not deem it fit and right to communicate to NARD the level of progress made on those items in the actionable plans. But our independent inquiry revealed no significant progress was made, even the items that squarely, could be handled at the level of the FMOH were not really done. Pure levity.
Yet, NARD decided to embark on a five days warning strike(including weekends just to alleviate the gross impact on the poor populace) instead of the planned indefinite strike.
That was when The first item was given some level of serious attention, when the committee to restructure Residency Training was inaugurated ( a committee formed on 11th April had to wait for a warning strike before it was inaugurated 18th of May) since then nothing much could be said about the committee. Another poor attention.
NARD had to painstakingly, wait till the one week period of OGM in Jos before a final definitive action was streamlined. And this was necessary because of the glare levity shown by the FMOH on handling the issues in our demands. Despite that, NARD went ahead stagger the action from center based to a Nationwide with a two weeks window to enable any serious govt to intervene.
Luckily, the Hon. Speaker of the NASS, swiftly intervened and appealed for a week before the nationwide action grace which was graciouly granted. Much to our chagrin, the Hon. Speaker couldn’t hold the said meeting on 14th of June because the leadership of the affected Ministry was not able to attend. Where would they have gone to? What duty were they attending to so much important than the health and lives of innocent Nigerians? This is a clear sense of lack of seriousness and a clear sense of levity of disregard to the sanctity of lives and health of Nigerians depicted by the FMOH. I am very sure a meeting at the level of the Hon. Speaker (The number 4 citizen of the country) is a positive development in resolving the crisis and averting the calamity of sufferings on poor Nigerians already experiencing difficult times in this crunchy economy.
All these efforts had been successfully delayed by the FMOH. All the sufferings now due to the ongoing center based strike is due entirely to this needless delay caused by the FMOH. And also, the Nationwide indefinite strike to commence on 20th May is due squarely to this deliberate delay caused by the FMOH.
NOW THE QUESTIONS ARE CLEAR:
Are there people in Govt who are deliberately sabotaging the good intentions of PMB?
or Is our FMOH being manned by grossly incapable in competent lots?
Or still are the people in the FMOH still deceiving NIGERIANS and PMB that they are on top of the issues when in reality they are doing absolutely nothing?
Is there Confusion in the leadership of the FMOH?
It is the responsibility of any Federal Minister of Health to prioritise the the Health and lives of Nigerians. It beats any reasonable imagination, for a FMOH to be found neglecting such responsibility at such a crucial time when there exists a palpable dispute with sizeable number of the biggest FTHIs already in strike mode.
Any responsible Ministry would act more swiftly than what we obtain here. Is a conference in Boston more important than a meeting with the Hon. Speaker to avert a the strike of Doctors?
Is Boston in the moon or the Stars, that it is too far for any serious Minister to come down so as to avert this avoidable dispute?
Definitely, the Hon. Speaker could not hold such a meeting without the HMH.
It was not just a Jamboree, the NASS genuinely wants to intervene and they could only do that when officers that can take policy decisions attend such a high level meeting, here the Minister must be around!.
Or does the FMOH still expect PMB to come down and represent the FG at such a meeting?
These are pertinent questions and these are the reason why NARD has towed this painful path.
Now NARD IS GOING TO COMMENCE NATIONWIDE INDEFINITE STRIKE ON 20Th May 2016.
We call on all our members to ensure 100% compliance. Our demands affect all Doctors in all institutions.
What we must is to get it right collectively.
The above brief, is a clear testimony that NARD is forced to take this action due to the failure from the FMOH.
As a reminder , these are some of our demands:
1: REMUNERATION INJUSTICE
a) Our members in some states have spent months with either no salaries or fractions of salaries. No body is saying or doing anything, we all hide under the pretext that it is all the workforce in such state that are affected.
But are Doctors just like all other Civil servants? NO. Then who is responsible to make that point clear? Of course, us.
We must be the ones to make it clear that Doctors are not just like any other civil servants, we are the ones that attend to all Nigerians that are sick and we are the ones that are statutorily responsible for the Healthcare and well being of all Nigerians.
Our state members are the ones responsible for the healthcare of most Nigerians who are less privileged, those who constitute the largest portion of the populace, majority of those who can’t even afford to attain care in federal tertiary hospitals let alone travel abroad for any ailments. Most of these people suffer from all kinds of terrifying tropical diseases, preventable and endemic. They suffer from varying degrees of epidemics. And all are being seeing and cared for by the Doctors in the states.
Are these Doctors just like any civil servants in the state? NOO. I SAY NO!.
Therefore, the Government, both at the state and the Federal, must prioritise the welfare and conditions of service render by these patriotic Nigerian Doctors, who serve the underprivileged. Not doing that by any Government is tantamount to sentencing our NIGERIANS to untimely death from prevalent diseases. Doctors salaries must be paid in full and as at when due.
We must ensure *universal applicability* of Govt circulars and policies to curtail the trend of internal braindrain and also strengthened our primary and secondary levels of care in order to ensure efficient affordable UHC . Period.
b) The skipping of a grade level done for Non doctors in all our federal tertiary hospitals excluding doctors, despite availability of circulars and enough moneys released for various Hospitals to that effect, is a testimony of the zenith of injustice in our Hospitals. All accrued arrears from these injustice must also be paid in lump sum. Who are those promoting these injustices? Our CEOs, and they are all Medical Doctors. Even those that have started implementation, they are doing it out of duress and even conspiring on how to scuttle it for doctors alone( we are aware of the conspiracy going on already, when a confused Govt official said that they are going to review some of the signed agreements due to financial realities)
c) House officers entry steps, what have our youngest colleagues done wrong to deserve such neglect from us? Is it a crime that they are successful as doctors or what? It beats my imagination when a CEO is ready to adjust the entry steps for other interns but finds it laborious and impossible to do it for House officers despite the clarity of circulars.
d) Doctors in FMC OWERRI were not on strike in Dec 2015, so I f the FG decided to shut down the Hospital due to agitations by non doctors, I don’t think it is fair to deny Medical doctors their rightful entitlements. The doctors can decide to say they don’t want anybody in any position. It is their personal views. That doesn’t warrant withholding their DEC salaries. Now that some people(non doctors) are shouting, baselessly, for PSH must go in the FMOH Hqtrs, are they not paid their may salaries? This is another clear case of injustice.
Our members in most hospitals are getting just fractions of salaries for months and years and some have yet not been paid the outstanding 10months relativity arrears.
a) Incessant undue and unfair sack of Resident doctors without recourse to extant documents. This is perpetrated in most of our Training institutions out of vendetta, with the support from some of the Trainers, sadly. The Residents doctors make up the largest medical workforce in our Tertiary Hospitals. We render effective services, do rigorous training and partake in in depth research. All these we do out of sheer national patriotism and prosperity as we decided to stay back and serve our Nation rather than seek for a greener pasture abroad as done by most of our colleagues that are now abroad. Also, we do that to give less privileged Nigerians the opportunity to access a specialist care right at their doorstep.
b) Lack of adequate Funding for the training program both at the NPMCN and The Training Institutions. This despite the fact that it is the only postgraduate medical training program in Nigeria for producing Specialist medical manpower that give ordinary Nigerians specialist care in E.N.T etc. Those Nigerians that can’t afford overseas medical tourism.
c) Victimization of our members by mgts of Hospitals just for taking part in our NARD activities and strike actions. Most especially, threats for HOs. Especially at this time of our gamane agitations.
You hardly see such threats flying against the nondoctos and their interns. Why is it so?/Who are those perpetrators? Our CMDs.
d) Lack of Uniform guidelines for RTP. All previous reports are jettisoned. Even now a committee has been inaugurated for over a month it could not start deliberations due to unnecessary bottlenecks in the FMOH.
3: WE WANT TO BE ENROLLED INTO IPPIS PLATFORM.
WHY? We are fade up with Hospital using our Names to Bloat their personnel cost just to siphon. Many ,if not all the Federal tertiary Hospitals, have enough releases to implement full salaries for doctors, but they all decided not to.
And here we are, some people want us not to seek for our rights. Is that possible? We also seek for a *FORENSIC PERSONNEL AUDIT OF ALL DOCTORS* in our Hospitals to ensure all *Ghosts* are exorcised. All these FTHs have already been given enough to pay our full emoluments under the non regular platform but they decided to do otherwise. We have all the records and we are going to stand firmly to get all our accrued arrears.
These are the issues in our demands.
What else amongst them above is not justifiable?
What are our challenges?
1: Our biggest challenges come from our Hospitals and from the CMDs.These are conglomerates of corrupt incompetent administors that are colluding with JOHESU to either use our agitations to get more moneys to steal or scuttle the agitations so that doctors don’t get our entitlements.
2: Then followed by the FMOH. Here we have a combination of fantastic incompetence, Monumental sabotage and Gross palpable confusion put in perfect mix to prevent doctors from their entitlements.
This is clearly demonstrated by the recent posture of the FMOH. If the Hon. Speaker of the NASS is willing to intervene to avert the nationwide escalation of this dispute, then the leadership of FMOH shouldn’t ever be reason for such efforts to be delayed.
A peak of above three components (sabotage, incompetence and confusion) in glare display.
Then finally, some of our Senior colleagues. These are set of selfish opportunistic psychopants that are always greedily expecting favours from Government appointees. So they thought they can get those favours by thwarting any agitations from Doctors. Most of these elements are scattered everywhere in our mix. Some are even in our Noble Association as leaders.
Sadly, all the above are perpetrated by Doctors.
For NARD, we have done our best. We have constructively engaged the Government for years on these demands, we have given ultimatum from 21 days we extended to 65 days, yet the representatives of Govt were busy lying to the President PMB, while they are doing absolutely nothing.
In a nutshell, PMB has given our Health sector to obviously Clueless persons to manage. This is evident in the recent review of the Health sector in the past one year. The earlier PMB realizes this shortcomings and put a reliable immediate remedies, the best for the sector.. Otherwise, the promise of democratic dividends will never reach ordinary Nigerians.
The only dividends of democracy accessible to underprivileged is uninterrupted affordable health care services. And is the responsibility of the leadership of the FMOH and it is obvious that the Ministry bus playing politics with the Health and lives of innocent Nigerians.
NARD SHALL CONTINUE TO FIGTH FOR EMANCIPATION OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION.
My Fellow Comrades, Never allow any cheap Blackmail to deter you from this collective effort. Many unscrupulous people , some from within us, will like to distract you from this Noble struggles.
Please check the history and check their stories, had they ever caught for your rights before.? You will always find in the canals of our history and stories how NARD and her sincere leaders fought galantly for the soul of our Noble Profession.
My Comrades, check out, all what we enjoy today were fought for us by our True leaders through our Great NARD.
MANY OF OUR ENEMIES WANT TO DISCOURAGE YOU FROM NARD TODAY BECAUSE THEY ARE SURE THAT ONLY NARD THAT TRULY PROTECTS THE MEDICAL PROFESSION AND THEY THOUGHT NOW IS TIME TO DESTROY NARD. THEY ARE WRONG.
WE MUST STAND TOGETHER AND COLLECTIVELY SO.
WE START OUR NATIONWIDE INDEFINITE STRIKE TOMORROW 20TH MAY 2016.
LONG LIVE NARD.
LONG LIVE OUR ONLY FATHERLAND FEDERAL REPUBLIC NIGERIA
GOD BLESS US AND OUR SINCERE STRUGGLES
Dr. Muhammad Askira