The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has accused the Federal and State governments of failing to protect its members on the frontline.
NARD Publicity Secretary, Dr Stanley Egbogu, made the allegation during his interview with press.
“On May 30, 2020, we issued an ultimatum to the Federal Government that elapsed on June 13 and after the expiration of the ultimatum, the government could not respond to most of the demands the association made and we had a meeting on June 14,” he said.
Egbogu added, “We looked at the responses from the government and we noted that most of our challenges have not been resolved – the lack of provision of personal protective equipment to our members, and the lack of insurance cover for our members that are working in different hospitals.”
The association spokesman was reacting to the comments by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, on why the doctors went on strike.
According to him, the government has made a series of promises to the doctors such as allowances and insurance cover, but it has yet to implement any of them.
Egbogu said the reasons given by the minister on why the doctors went on strike were not true, stressing that they were far from the truth.
He insisted that the failure of the government at the federal and state government levels to provide necessary equipment has exposed the health workers to the risk of COVID-19 infection.
The medical doctor said, “I want to debunk the statement made by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, where he stated that the reason why resident doctors went on strike was because of COVID-19 inducement allowance; that is not true.
“We went on strike because we don’t have the necessary equipment to work. Both the Federal and the state governments have refused to give us the necessary equipment to work.”
“As I speak to you now, over 200 of our members have been infected with coronavirus disease and over 10 of them have actually died from this disease and that is not acceptable to us. How do you go to war with empty hands?
“So, these are the things we looked at and as an association, we decided we cannot continue that way; we decided to take the decision of proceeding on an indefinite strike on June 15, 2020,” he added.