FG to ban doctors’ private practice, implements `no work, no pay’

It was gathered that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has resolved it will ban medical doctors from private practice and also decided to enforce the “No Work No Pay’’ policy.

Health minister Isaac Adewole and his labour and employment counterpart Chris Ngige unfolded the decisions in Abuja on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council’s meeting.

Dr Adewole said the federal government would soon ban private practice by its medical personnel, including doctors nationwide.

According to the minister, the law of the land does not allow any public officer to do anything other than farming.

He said already a committee had been set up to advice government appropriately on the matter.

The minister stated revealed that the Council also looked at the issue of residency training programme and decided that the training should last for a fixed time of seven years.

According to him, after the seven years training period, individuals should exit from the programme so that other people can come into it.

“In addition council also considered an important memo on industrial relations particularly in the public sector, that report dealt extensively with several issues but for us the health sector the most important is the need to do comprehensive job evaluation.

So, government has decided to set up a committee that would evaluate what exactly do we do as individuals, how much should we be paid in a way that we can really pay appropriately across board through the entire country.

“Council also looked at the issue of residency training programme and decided that the training should last for a fixed time of 7 years after training for 7 years individuals should exit from the programme so that other people can come into the programme.

“Council has also decided to look into the issue of private practice by medical doctors in the public sector and a committee has been set up to look extensively into that issue because we want to resolve the issue of what does the law of the land state and what the rule of professional ethics say,’’ he said.

Adewole announced that the federal government would embark on a nationwide vaccination against yellow fever following the reported outbreak of the disease in some part of the country.

Ngige on his part, said that the enforcement of `no work, no pay’’ doctrine, was part of measures to restore harmony into the public service in the country.

Ngige said the directive was take at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council which met on Wednesday which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He stated that the council’s decision to strictly observe and implement the doctrine followed the council’s acceptance of the recommendation of the report of the Technical Committee on Industrial Relation matters in the federal public service.

The committee which was chaired and co-chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Head of Service, was inaugurated on April 26, 2016.

“The report emphasises the need for government to implement the law on “No Work No Pay’’.

“The “No work No Pay’’ is not a rule neither is it a policy. It is a law captured in the Trade Dispute Act of the Federation, section 43, which says worker has the right to disengage their service from an employer if there is a breakdown in their discussion/negotiation.

“But, for the periods that the worker does so, the employer should not pay and those periods are to be counted as non-pensionable times in his period of work.

“So, Council today reemphasised that law is still and it should be brought to the knowledge of workers in Nigeria especially those in the public sector,” he said.

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1 Comment

  1. Total prohibition of Private Practice by Public Servants is the most effective way to ensure dedication and commitment to their primary job. The policy of turning a blind eye to unbridled private practice by public servants has had a particularly devastating effect on our health services. Doctors, even house officers, abandon their duties in hospitals, where they receive full pay as full-time employees, to run private clinics. Nurses grudgingly stay their shifts, impatiently snapping at patients until they are able to scurry off to their private nursing homes and maternities and laboratory technologists abandon samples in hospital laboratories to go to moonlight in private laboratories. This is clear fraud. Consultants never show up in hospitals any more, but rather contact junior doctors by phone from their private clinics, to tell then what to do. Teaching hospitals are now manned by house officers, in the absence of their supervising consultants and the residents, who are all away in their private clinics and hospitals. Most nursing staff are now matrons, and their understanding is that a matron does not do patient nursing, but sits there writing reports and shouting down any complaining patient. Every employee in our public hospital should be compelled as a matter of urgency, to choose between retaining his or her job and demonstrating total commitment and dedication to the job, and quitting the job to go to a private clinic or other private establishment. Government should not continue to leave people to eat their cake and have it. In developed countries, if one goes on strike and does not work, one understands that one would receive no pay from the employer for that period of absence from work. I don’t know from where we got this stupid notion in Nigeria that when workers return from strike, they receive full pay for the period they didn’t work. This is what enboldens workers (Doctors, nurses, ASUU etc) to go on incessant strikes, knowing they would lose nothing. Government should have the courage to call this bluff and ignore blackmail. If staff wish to leave public heath institutions because they are not allowed to engage in private practice to the detriment of their primary employment and the care of their patients in those public hospitals, LET THEM GO OR BE DISMISSED!

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