The National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) has accused the Lagos State government of double standard in its last week’s mass sack and instant eviction of 788 doctors in public hospitals.
It described as sad that an administration, which made a tenancy law that forbids landlords from evicting tenants without adequate notice, could breach the cardinal principle of the same law by evicting the doctors two days after serving them notice to quit their residences.
NARD said the state government had proved to Nigerians that it had no respect for the rule of law and a “tyrannical regime.”
The medical body also lamented the casualisation of doctors that were used to replace the dismissed ones, which according to NARD, is against the nation’s labour laws.
At a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, National President of NARD, Dr. Achinwa Chiedozie, who was represented by the association’s Acting National Secretary, Usman Galadima, said “the mass sack of a record 788 doctors in its employment and forceful eviction of same from their residential quarters with only two days eviction notice, is a clear violation of Lagos State tenancy law.”
Chiedozie warned that NARD would not hesitate to initiate legitimate actions to protect its members if the outcome of the intervention by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) was unsuccessful.
He said the action of the state government was “unwarranted, unexpected of a democratic administration and smacked off executive recklessness and extreme high handedness of tyrannical proportion.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has pleaded with its members to maintain clinical services in all public hospitals in view of the current strike by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU).
Absolving the NMA of any role in the strike, the association’s president, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, said the appeal became imperative as the JOHESU strike was premeditated to ridicule the medical doctors.
Enabulele said: “JOHESU strike predicated on their demands, which sole purpose is to undermine and encroach on the turf of the medical profession” and urged NMA state chairmen to call the heads of affiliate bodies and acquaint them with the directive, with the aim of mobilising their members to maintain clinical services in their hospitals, units and departments.
He cited yesterday in a statement obtained by The Guardian that the demands of JOHESU include the skipping of CONMESS, amendment and passage of the National Health Bill, appointment of paramedics as consultants and payment of specialist allowance to them.
Others are the payment of equal call- duty allowance with doctors, stoppage of appointment of two doctors as Ministers of Health, the implementation of the Presidential Committee Report on Inter-Professional Harmony in the Health Sector (this entails that the Office of the Chief Medical Director and CMAC should be opened to all healthcare professionals.)