The National Association of Resident Doctors has said that the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria does not have the legal right to bar trainee doctors from joining the union or industrial action during their one-year internship.
The association insisted that the trainee doctors remain key stakeholders in NARD.
The Chairman of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Prof. Abba Hassan, had during the swearing-in of new trainee doctors, warned them against participating in industrial actions.
The MDCN chairman maintained that house officer engaging in industrial action “is an illegal act which will not be further tolerated.”
But NARD said this in a statement jointly signed by its national president, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, the Secretary-General, Dr. Jerry Isogun, and its Publicity/Social Secretary, Dr. Dotun Osikoya, insisted the trainee doctors remain key stakeholders in NARD.
The association which said this in the statement made available to newsmen in Abeokuta on Saturday described the utterances of the MDCN chairman as misleading and misguided.
The association noted that the MDCN Act cap 221 stated clearly the membership of house officers into NARD.
The statement reads partly, “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 thus, 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.”