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Government may issue no-work no-pay directive against striking doctors


StethoscopeWorried about the incessant strikes of some health workers in parts of the country, the Federal Ministry of Health may have issued “a no-work no-pay” circular to managements of all its tertiary health institutions across the country.

Sources told The Guardian in Ilorin that the development must have sent some panic measures into the spines of many doctors currently on strike in some of the teaching hospitals in the country.

But a Human Rights lawyer in Ilorin, Abeny Mohammed, (SAN) said the directive “if it is true” negated the right to strike by workers as enshrined in the Convention of International Labour Organisation, (ILO).

Meanwhile, the management of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) yesterday promised prompt payment of skipping allowances and arrears of its striking members of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD).

Already, the local ARD chairman Adegboyega Faponle said he believed that the negotiation between the management and his members over the strike would soon yield a positive result.

Faponle said, “we are already in a negotiation with the management and we hope it will lead to a positive result. Therefore the strike I believe may soon be called off.”

According to the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the UITH, Professor Abdulwaheed Olatinwo, , despite the alleged late reception of the ARD striking notice, “contrary to the extant Labour Law”, the management was working round the clock to ensure the timely payment of the money “whenever the money is made available.”

The ARD in its striking notice of Monday March 7, this year is demanding for; immediate payment of skipping and its arrears, the need to improve infrastructural facilities, especially electricity and water in both the House Officer’s quarters and the Doctors” common room and a thorough review of the conditions of engagement (service) of House Officers and Resident Doctors as presently contained in the letter of their admission into training.

Olatinwo said the management had since constituted a bilateral committee consisting of parties in the industrial dispute, UITH and ARD, with a view to finding a lasting solution to the problems.
Skeletal services at the UITH are on going despite the ARD strike as consultants and other health workers are working round the clock.

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