By Ummul Idris
Citing failure of Federal Government to meet its demands, the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has declared that its members will embark on an indefinite strike beginning from April 1.
NARD gave the strike notice in a communiqué issued on Sunday in Abuja at the end of its extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) Meeting.
The communique was signed by Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, NARD President, Dr Jerry Isogun, Secretary-General and Dr Dotun Osikoya, Publicity and Social Secretary.
The communiqué said that the NEC had agreed that it would proceed on a total and indefinite strike on April 1, 2021, by 8 a.m.
This, according to NARD, is if immediate payment of all salaries owed to all house officers, including March salaries, were not paid before the end of business on March 31, 2021.
NARD demanded upward review of the current hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance.
The association called for the abolishment of exorbitant bench fees being paid by members on outside postings in all training institutions across the country.
NARD said that payment of salary shortfalls of 2014, 2015 and 2016 to members in all Federal Institutions including state-owned institutions as earlier agreed with NARD must be paid.
According to the association, there must be payment of death in service insurance for all health workers who died as a result of COVID-19 infection and other infectious diseases.
It said there should be a universal domestication and implementation of the 2017 MRTA by all federal and state-owned training institutions.
This, according to the association, is to ensure proper funding of residency training in the country as stipulated by the Act.
NARD called for the commencement of employment into all government-owned hospitals to improve service delivery to Nigerians and enhance residency training to curb brain drain in the health sector.
The association also sought for the review of the Act regulating postgraduate medical training in Nigeria in line with international best practices.
NARD demanded the sack of the Registrar of MDCN for failure to demonstrate competence in the handling of the central placement of house officers.
The communiqué added that it would give room for the smooth implementation of the central placement of house officers without delays.
NARD reiterated the commitment of NARD to the smooth running of all tertiary institutions in the country and the provision of specialist healthcare to Nigerians.
NARD, however, urged the Federal Government to urgently meet the above demands in order to avert this avoidable industrial action