The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has announced that it will embark on an indefinite nationwide strike from Monday.
The National Executive Council of the resident doctors said this was part of its resolutions at a virtual meeting held on Wednesday.
The meeting which was attended by over 200 doctors – NOC, NEC, past presidents, caucus leaders, committee chairmen, and observers, was held to review the 21-day ultimatum issued to government which elapsed on August 17.
The NEC noted that in spite of the inclusion of the residency funding in the revised 2020 budget, the government has not made plans to implement the payment after several promises by stakeholders.
It also noted the failure of the Federal Government to procure group life insurance and death in service benefits for all health workers.
Another observation the council made was that though an agreement has been reached between the government and stakeholders in the health sector to pay COVID-19 inducement allowance for 6 months (April – September), payment was only made for April, May and June in some institutions and the process was, thereafter, abandoned.
“NEC observed the insincerity of the government in determining the revised hazard allowance for all health workers which was supposed to commence in September 2020,” the council said.
“NEC noted nonpayment of the outstanding salary shortfall of 2014, 2015, 2016 under the guise of the so called appeal of the National industrial Court decision that granted the judgment in favor of the payment in the first place by Federal Ministry of health.
“NEC observed the plight of her members in state tertiary hospitals such as the nondomestication and non-implementation of Medical Residency Training Act at the state level, the non-implementation of appropriate salary structure, and the nonpayment of owed salaries.”
￼The resident doctors and the Federal Government have been in a long drawn battle over the payment of hazard allowance in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July, no fewer than 200 doctors in Lagos State alone contracted the coronavirus in the line of duty.
They, thereafter, resolved, among other things, to proceed on an indefinite nationwide strike action from 8:00 am on Monday until some conditions are met.
One of the conditions includes the immediate payment of the Medical Residency Training funding to all her members as approved in the revised 2020 budget.
Another condition stated by the NEC, is the provision of genuine group life insurance and death in service benefits for all health workers, as well as, the payment of the outstanding April/May and June COVID-19 inducement allowance to all health workers.
Other conditions to be met include: “Determination of the revised hazard allowance for all health workers as agreed in previous meetings with relevant stakeholders.
“Immediate payment of the salary shortfalls of 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“Doctors working under the various tertiary health institutions to be placed on appropriate salary grade level and universal implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act of 2017 in all State tertiary health institutions.
“Payment of all arrears owed our members in Federal and States tertiary health institutions, arising from the consequential adjustment of the National minimum wage”.
They also appealed to Nigerians to “bear with us during this period of industrial disharmony”, while calling on relevant stakeholders to intervene in the issue to ensure speedy resolution.