The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige has been confronted by the Nigerian Medical Association for saying developed nations like the United Kingdom and United States do not pay resident doctors.
The Minister had berated the National Association of Resident Doctors for embarking on a nationwide strike, claiming that resident doctors don’t get paid in developed countries.
In his interview on Channels Television, he said that resident doctors in foreign countries actually pay the hospitals where they work while in Nigeria the reverse is the case.
The minister further alleged that in the USA and other developed countries, resident doctors pay for their residency training abroad, whereas, in Nigeria, the government pays them.
Reacting to this, the National President, Prof. Innocent Ujah and it’s Secretary-General, Dr Phillips Ekpe, knocked the Minister for his statement as well is approach towards ending this strike.
The statement read in part, “The attention of the NMA has been drawn to a recent live interview granted on Channels TV on Friday, April 2, 2021, by the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige.
“In as much as we appreciate the efforts being made by the government to resolve the issues that have led to this avoidable and unnecessary industrial action by NARD, the NMA wishes to clarify the misinformation by the minister in the interview, which is seriously viewed to be a hate speech capable of bringing down the health system in Nigeria and thereby worsening the health care delivery and further escalate the rather unimaginable current brain drain.”
The NMA said resident doctors work as they are being trained and they are being paid by their employees in the US and some other developed countries.
“In the United Kingdom, the employer of resident doctors is the NHS, which is similar to what is obtainable in Nigeria,” it added.
The association suggests that in order to settle the differences between the government and concerned practitioners in the health sectors, government must prioritise and improve the healthcare delivery to Nigerians and at the same time improve the welfare of medical practitioners and other health workers.
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