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Monday, June 17, 2024

We didn’t call off strike – Resident Doctors

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The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has said its indefinite strike continues, though the planned protest has been put on hold.

NARD President, Dr Innocent Orji, said this in an interview on Arise TV on Wednesday, adding that the Federal Ministry of Health had not reached out to the association.

NARD had commenced an indefinite strike on July 26 after a two-week ultimatum to the federal government for the implementation of all its demands elapsed.

Its demands, among others, include immediate payment of the 2023 medical residency training fund (MRTF) and the immediate release of the circular on one-for-one replacement.

The association also demanded payment of skipping arrears and upward review of consolidated medical salary structure (CONMESS) in line with full salary restoration to the 2014 value of CONMESS.

The NARD President said, “Yes we put on hold the protest that was supposed to start this morning (Wednesday) but the strike is continuing. We will review again in 72 hours, that is the position of our national executive council.

“We started this strike about two weeks ago after series of notices and ultimatum given to the government but it looks as if there was no move on the part of the government to resolve the issue that led to the strike.

“Being concerned about Nigerians we felt that it will not be good to just remain on strike without making effort to quickly resolve the issue so that we can come back to work.

“So our members met on Saturday. We still gave another window for government to meet us and resolve the issue before the protest.”

On the Ministry of Health’s approach to resolve the issues, Orji said, “You see the Ministry of Health has not spoken to us since we started the strike. Unfortunately, if they said they have done that, then we need evidence.”

“We saw what they were doing, some of the government officials who are supposed to call us and take responsibility, they didn’t call. They were just issuing statement,” he added.


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