Resident doctors on strike will no longer be paid as long as they continue to stop work, the Federal Government said.
This follows the invocation of the “no work, no pay” rule, which Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire said is necessary because “the doctors have no basis for going on strike at this time”.
He added that “no work no pay” rule is recognised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Already, the Federal Government has taken the doctors to the Industrial Court to show cause why government should continue to pay them while they are on strike.
The doctors said they would not back off from the strike and would be at the Industrial Court on Monday.
Ehanire, speaking at a briefing organised by the Presidential Media Team in Abuja, told the doctors, who started their strike on August 2, that the country is currently facing a virulent third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, and cholera outbreak, which has claimed hundreds of lives and an emerging Marburg virus in neighbouring vicinities.
The minister, who was accompanied to the briefing by heads of three agencies under the Ministry of Health; Professor Mojisola Adeyeye of the National Agency For Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC); Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); and Dr Faisal Shuibu of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA).
The minister noted that most of the demands raised by the striking doctors were under the jurisdiction of state governments.
“We have said openly that this is not a good time for doctors to go on strike. We’re having a strike for the third time this year that is not good. We have appealed to them. We have been having long meetings with young doctors to tell them that look we have a certain responsibility to our country.