The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) has directed house officers undergoing training in hospitals across the nation not to join the strike called by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunmimbe Mamora, gave the directive at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that NARD embarked on an indefinite nationwide industrial action on Monday.
“You will recall that we had a memorandum of action on March 31 and had an addendum to it on April 9.
“But since then, we still have had irregularities in the payment of salaries to the house officers.
“We had issues with them being non-regular payment and as part of the memorandum of action, it was said that they should be captured back into the IPPIS platform,” the minister said.
NARD in its communique announcing the industrial action, had stated that house officers were being owed 12 months salaries.
Mamora, however, said, “house officers are undergoing training; they are not full fledged doctors. They are not and should not go on strike.
According to him, house officers work generically across General Surgery, Orthopaedics, Plastic Surgery, and General Medicine and Medical Specialties.
He added that they also worked in their designated services wherever possible and were also attached to consultants.
The Director of Hospital Services, FMOH, Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi, also said that the communique issued by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) concerning house officers was not a threat.
Adebiyi said there was no victimisation of any house officer across the country and they were not meant to be out of duty during their 12 months of housemanship.
She appealed to them not to miss out in any of their practice days.
NAN recalls that the Registrar of MDCN, Dr Tajudeen Sanusi, had in a statement asked the house officers to stay and render services.
He warned that any of them who joined the strike would be reposted without pay.
“MCDN did not threaten the house officers in any way. House officers are in their practical year; it is a year of study and it is for twelve months.
“Some of them had issues with non-payment because of wrong details which were submitted,” she said.