Stop playing God, Ngige warns striking resident doctors

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has counselled striking doctors in the country to be humble and carry themselves with dignity, rather than “play God or compete with God”.

Ngige gave the advice while speaking at the 2nd Summit of Medical Elders Forum on Thursday, in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the forum, organised by the Africa Health Budget Network had as its theme, ‘Medical Profession: a Look into the Past, Present and Future’.

Nigige expressed his concerns over the state of health nationwide and opined that the medical profession was in danger.

“At no time in the history of NMA (Nigerian Medical Association) and the medical association, was I seeing our association and our profession ever being in danger as I am seeing them now.

“Many people will not see it, but from where I am sitting and standing, I can see danger ahead.

“We are one of the oldest professions on earth, metamorphosing from natural and traditional healers to take away pain from people and consequentially save lives.

“We don’t create lives, God creates, we only preserve people’s lives through the act of God. In doing so, God has given us some powers.

“But there is something God does not want, God does not want when he gives you powers you use it to try to say that you are like him or you are competing with him.

“God loves you to do that which he has asked you to do; to use that power with humility.

“Doctors should ask themselves questions; why is it that it is when your colleagues are in government that you go on the greatest number of strikes?

“Some of these colleagues were Presidents, Secretaries-General of the Nigerian Medical Association and even NARD (Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors),” Ngige asked?

The minister lamented that the government of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has faced about four strikes since 2015.

Resident doctors have been on strike since Monday, August 2, 2021, demanding payment of outstanding doctors’ salaries and hazard allowances minimum, enrolment of doctors in the integrated personal payroll information systems, amongst others, as minimum conditions to call off its indefinite strike.