The Federal Government has faulted the ongoing strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), saying most of their demands are not for the apex government to meet but that of state governments across the country.
Aside from faulting the ongoing strike, the central government directed the striking resident doctors to call off the industrial action and resume back to their duty post, arguing that issues raised by the health officials are state affairs.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said that it was surprising that the residents’ doctors would embark on a nationwide strike and ground healthcare delivery over demands that were mostly the responsibility of state governments
Faulting the action while briefing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, the minister clarified that seven of 1the twelve matters raised by the national body of the resident doctors were what should be solved by governments of their host states.
He added that with the clarification, it was expected that the resident doctors resume back to their duty post on Friday and take up these issues with their respective state governments while delivering on their mandate of saving lives.
Giving reasons why the health officials must return to work, Ehanire explained that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had begun addressing five demands which concerned the federal government and that all issues contained in them would soon be resolved.
According to him, resident doctors cannot hold the federal government to ransom on issues related to states governments, and doctors employed by the federal government had no basis for joining the strike in the first instance because they are not being owed.
Ehanire, however, said that the Nigerian Constitution clearly spelt out the responsibilities of all the tiers of government and given that instance, the doctors have the responsibility of returning back to work.