Consultants, Youth Corps doctors and doctors on internship have been asked to provide health services in Federal Government owned hospitals while Resident Doctors are on strike.

The directive was issued on Monday by the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, in response to the full strike declared by the doctors on Monday.

Medical Directors and Chief Medical Directors of Federal Government owned Hospitals are to coordinate the activities of the doctors standing in the gap, pending when an agreement that will see the return of the Resident Doctors is reached. 

The decision was taken to ensure that there was no break in healthcare services to Nigerian, a statement by a spokesman for the Health Minister, Mrs Boade Akinola, read.

"The Minister assured all Nigerians that the Federal Government Health Facilities will be open and render services to the people while the government continues to dialogue with the resident doctors to return to work. Arrangements are also on to make use of Armed Forces, Police and Federal Road Safety Health Facilities," it further stated.

Professor Adewole is optimistic that the problem will be resolved soon.

"No one should die because our colleagues strike," he said.

A meeting between government's representatives and those of the striking doctors have been scheduled to hold on Wednesday.

Resident doctors are post graduate doctors on training at secondary and tertiary health institutions in Nigeria owned by the Federal Government.

Their practice is part of their post-graduate studies and they are demanding for the payment of salary arrears, actions on stagnated promotion and halt to alleged diversion of funds meant for them by Chief Medical Directors (CMDs).

Also Read: Resident Doctors Begin Indefinite Strike

They also want enrolment of the medical personnel on the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), remediation of shortfall in their salaries, defraying arrears of members in both in state and federal tertiary health facilities as well as implementation of the adjusted house officers’ entry level since 2014.

Federal government owned hospitals cater to most health needs of Nigerians.

It is not at the moment clear how this full strike will affect medical activities and services to patients, but there are fears that patients may have to look for alternative treatment avenues.