Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday said most of the demands of the striking resident doctors are within the jurisdiction of the state governments.
According to Ehanire, the association is only using the anxiety surrounding the third wave of COVID-19 Nigeria to push its demands.
NARD in June issued a four weeks ultimatum to the Federal government.
Some of the issues it raised include the migration of doctors from the gifmis platform to the IPPIS platform. The association also lamented the non-payment of house officers, inconsistency in payment of salaries and non-payment of death benefits.
He said, “Seven out of the 12 demands presented by NARD are within the jurisdiction of the state governments. This is not a just move to call for a nationwide strike.
“In their notice titled 25th July 2021, they mentioned states like Imo, Kaduna, Delta and Lagos. The Federal Government cannot force these states to do anything.
“For the issues surrounding the Federal Government, not all of these issues are for the ministry of health, the payment lies within the power of the Accountant General of the Federation. We are also working with other agencies to sort out some of these issues.”
Ehanire also spoke about the fight against the brain drain of doctors in the country said “It is actually difficult to say we want to combat the brain drain of Doctors. They see the salaries there as being expensive and most of them do not want to serve in rural areas.
“In Nigeria, we are not the only ones suffering from it, some other developing countries also suffer it too because they studied in English they easily get into those countries.
“We are also working to make sure that working conditions in Nigeria are favourable. That is why we are also working on the issues of hazard allowances,” he said.