The National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria, NARD, has said no going back on the planned nationwide strike of the association, which commences Monday, as government failed to meet its 14-day ultimatum.
NARD insisted on the take-off of the industrial action today after its National Executive Council discussed on the issue for six hours without any headway on Sunday.
However, after much consideration, the President of NARD, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, said NEC has exempted doctors managing COVID-19 at the various isolation and treatment centres in Nigeria from the industrial action.
Sokomba attributed the exemption of members at isolation centres to the intervention of well- meaning Nigerians and that of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajamila on the issue.
The association had in a circular last week said the association found it necessary to take “the painful decision” following the inability of the government to meet its demands.
Sokomba said: “Consequent upon the 14-day 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, we hereby notify you that all resident doctors, medical officers below the rank of Principal Medical Officer (PMO) and House Officers across all the Federal and State hospitals in Nigeria, shall be embarking on a total and indefinite strike action effective 12:01am on 15 Monday June 2020.
“It is important that you make alternative arrangements for the care of the patients as the strike shall be total and indefinite. No service of any kind, be it emergency, care at COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres shall be exempted. We sympathize with the patients and Nigerian populace.
“For purpose of clarity, the demands on which the ultimatum was predicated include the following; 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.
“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.
“Provision of funding for Medical Residency Training in the 2021 Appropriation bill. Payment of all arrears owed our 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 our members by Kaduna State and other state governments.”