By Ifeoma Aka/Enugu
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has given the Federal Government up to Jan. 2 to implement the National Health Act and other demands or face withdrawal of service.
Addressing journalists in Enugu after its emergency executive committee meeting in Abuja, its President, Dr John Onyebueze, said the government should also implement the July 14 agreement reached by stakeholders at a meeting called by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Yakubu Dogara.
Onyebueze also called on NARD members to wear black ward coats or clinical gowns from Jan. 2 to “mourn the death of the country’s health sector’’.
He said that the association would not be intimidated by the government’s no-work, no-pay order, saying that the policy seemed to be targeted at the association.
He said that the National Health Act was applauded when it was signed into law as the solution to the country’s health challenges, adding that its non-implementation was stunting the growth of the sector.
The NARD president regretted that the money spent by Nigerians on medical tourism was enough to correct the anomalies in the health sector and stem the tide of people seeking treatment abroad.
He threatened that the members of the association would storm the National Assembly and other relevant places to protest the treatment meted to them.
Onyebueze said that the ultimatum, which took effect from Dec. 12, had been served on the relevant authorities.
In the 15-point observation and 15-point resolution, the association also called on the government to pay outstanding salaries to NARD members in the 72 institutions nationwide where its members worked.