The federal capital territory chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) says federal government policy on “no work, no pay” against medical workers will destroy the health sector.
NAN reports that the call was made at a news conference on Sunday in Abuja.
Last week, the federal government ordered the stoppage of payment of salaries to the members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) following their strike over unresolved welfare issues.
According to the government, it has invoked the policy to ensure that members of the association are not paid during the period of the strike and to deter other health workers from going on strike action.
Speaking on the development, the chairperson of NMA-FCT, Charles Ugwuanyi, condemned the decision, saying the policy “will further destroy the sector”.
Ugwuanyi noted that if the government goes on with the plan, it will further heighten the dearth of doctors in the country.
According to him, members of NARD are only demanding their rights.
He said Nigeria has less than 25,000 registered practising doctors, adding that government must find a way to encourage doctors to stay in the country.
The NMA-FCT chairman also called on governments at different levels to take the safety of workers seriously.
The association commiserated with the Lagos state government over the death of Dwaere Viaso, a medical doctor who died in an elevator accident.
“The reason why most of us are dressed in black is not far-fetched, we are in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the NMA Lagos state branch,” he said.
“As you are aware in the last one week, the media space has been filled with the news of a sad development, a young doctor, a house officer on duty, was trapped in a lift and she collapsed and died.
“We are all in mourning, while we pray for the repose of her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, we want to send a message out there.
“We at the NMA, are indeed not happy with the poor working conditions, which on this occasion has resulted in the death of this young star with a very bright future.
“We are calling on the relevant authorities, government at different levels managing the different hospitals, to take safety in the working environment seriously.
“We enjoin all our members across the country, to take this message to the different levels of government.”