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Resident Doctors begin nationwide strike today

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The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) is set to commence its nationwide strike as the 14 days given the federal government by the association to meet its demands elapse yesterday.

National President of NARD, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, had threatened last week that „consequent upon the 14 days ultimatum duly served the Federal Government for indefinite strike action, in accordance with the resolution of the Ordinary General Meeting of the Association on the 29th of May 2020”, resident doctors, medical officers below the rank of Principal Medical Officer (PMO) and House Officers across all the federal and state hospitals in Nigeria will embark on a total and indefinite strike action today.

It listed the demands on which the ultimatum was predicated to include provision of grossly inadequate appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for all healthcare workers, immediate reversal of the illegal disengagement of all 26 resident doctors in Jos University Teaching Hospital, and the payment of all salaries owed them in keeping with provisions of the Medical Residency Training Act.

Others are universal Implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act in all federal and state hospitals and ensuring pay parity among doctors of equal cadre, immediate implementation of the revised hazard allowance and payment of the COVID-19 inducement allowance as agreed with by the federal government and healthcare workers three months ago.

Others include the provision of funding for Medical Residency Training in the 2021 Appropriation bill, payment of all arrears owed members in federal and states tertiary health institutions, arising from the consequential adjustment of the National minimum wage, stoppage and immediate refund of all illegal, unjust and callous cut in salaries of members by Kaduna State and other state governments.

But the minister of Health, Dr  Osagie Ehanire, had said that the grievances of NARD was being addressed.

Ehinare said, “On the issue of welfare and allowances to frontline health workers, conversations have been held with the Ministry of Finance, agencies and health-related associations.

“Complaints on availability of PPEs have been addressed with supply of materials to States and Federal Medical Centers.  The disengaged Resident Doctors at the University of Jos Teaching Hospital have been recalled by the Board of Governors” indicating that the Federal Government has been working to resolve the grievances that the health workers may be habouring.“

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