The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has given the federal government a two-week ultimatum to implement agreements concerning the demands of its members or face industrial action. The association is demanding an immediate 200% gross salary increment in addition to new allowances, as well as the payment of all their salary arrears. NARD has also called for massive recruitment of clinical staff in hospitals, immediate infrastructural development in various hospitals without further delay, and a budgetary allocation of at least 15% to the health sector.
In a communique issued at the end of the extra-ordinary National Executive Council meeting of the association held in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the doctors demanded the immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) in line with the agreements reached at the stakeholders’ meeting convened by the Federal Ministry of Health. They also called for the complete abolishment of bureaucratic limitations to the immediate replacement of doctors who leave the system.
Furthermore, the doctors demanded the immediate implementation of CONMESS, Domestication of MRTA, and the review of hazard allowance by all state governments, as well as private tertiary health institutions where any form of residency training is done. They also demanded the immediate commencement of payment of all salary arrears owed to their members by the various state governments, notorious amongst which is the Abia State government.
The meeting was predicated upon serious burning issues affecting the welfare of resident doctors and other healthcare workers in the country. The association warned that following the expiration of the two-week ultimatum beginning on the 29th of April 2023, they may not be able to guarantee industrial harmony in the sector nationwide.
The looming strike by resident doctors highlights the urgent need for the government to prioritize healthcare workers’ welfare and improve the healthcare system. It is crucial for the government to address these demands and avert a strike that could have adverse effects on the healthcare system in Nigeria.