Rivers issues ultimatum to doctors to call off strike or face sack

Resident doctors

Resident doctors during protest

By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

The Rivers State Government has directed all Resident Doctors in its employ who joined the current nationwide strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to resume duty within 24 hours or face sack.

The state government warned that failure to heed the warning, it would be compelled to invoke the “No Work, No Pay” rule on striking house Officers.

“We, therefore, direct all Resident Doctors to call off the ongoing strike in the State and return to work within 24 hours or forfeit their salaries and risk being sack”

The stern warning was contained in a State Government’s statement made available to our Correspondent and endorsed by the Dr. Tammy Wenike Danagogo, Secretary to the State Government, SSG.

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The statement said “Sequel to the ongoing strike by the Rivers State chapter of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) with respect to irregularities in the payment of salaries of house officers by the Federal Government, the Rivers State Government hereby directs all Resident Doctors under the employment of the State Government to call off its strike immediately because the state government is not owing any financial entitlement to its Residents Doctors.

According to the government, “Whereas the NARD has a right to go on strike, we expect that such should be restricted to Resident Doctors that are directly under the payroll of the Federal Government, particularly as the Rivers State Government does not owe salaries or benefits to Resident Doctors in the State. We are therefore unable to decipher why Resident Doctors in the State will embark on sympathy strike with their counterparts in the employment of the Federal Government.

“To this end, the Rivers State Government having reaffirmed its position with respect to the above, will not tolerate further strike actions by Resident Doctors in Rivers State and will be compelled to invoke the “No Work, No Pay” rule on striking house Officers.

“We, therefore, direct all Resident Doctors to call off the ongoing strike in the State and return to work within 24 hours or forfeit their salaries and risk being sacked,” it said.