Resident Doctors Tackle MDCN President Over Right Of Interns To Join Unions
The Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) says members are empowered by the service rule to demand for good working condition including embarking on strike if the need arises.
NARD said this in a statement made available to newsmen on Saturday in response to a statement credited to Prof. Abba Hassan, Chairman of the Medical & Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) who said House Officers were not allowed to join industrial unions.
Hassan gave the warning during the induction ceremony of the foreign-trained medical doctors in Abuja on Thursday.
He warned that Medical Trainees needed to concentrate on their 12 month internship and that it was illegal for them to join industrial unions or embark on strike warning that they would be punished by MDCN if found culpable.
According to him, “By law, they are not supposed to join any association until they are fully registered as doctors. For now, they are on probation and they should not belong to any union or join in strike.
“Anybody who is caught will be brought before the council and if found guilty, will be sanctioned. The person may be barred from practice.”
But NARD in a Statement signed by Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, Dr. Jerry Isogun and Dr. Dotun Osikoya its President, Secretary and Publicity Secretary respectively differed with the MDCN chairman warning that such pronouncement was capable of causing disharmony in the health sector.
According to the Statement, the leadership of leadership of NARD frowns at such misguided utterance and would refer the MDCN to her Act cap 221 where the membership of our House officers is unequivocally captured.
“We want to categorically state that NARD as a body has been at the forefront of the advocacy for central placement of House Officers, we have fought and will continue to engage all relevant authorities for an improved remuneration and condition of service for our House Officers.
“Therefore, we will resist any attempt by MDCN to cause confusion in the health sector.
“The MDCN should focus on her duties of Central placement of house officers and payment of house officers for January as this is bringing hardship to our members.
“We call on the minister of health and all relevant stakeholders to call the MDCN Chairman to order to prevent any form of crisis in the already fragile health sector at this critical time of COVID-19 pandemic with its global impact and consequences,” it stated.