The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has embarked on what it calls a nationwide indefinite strike after after the expiration of a 14-day ultimatum it gave on May 30.
The President of the association, Dr. Aliyu Sokomba, said in Abuja that the Association’s decision is predicated on the fact that the healthcare delivery system is characterised by the unavailability of personnel protective equipment (PPEs) for workers, This he said has caused an increase in infection among health workers.
He added that in spite of repeated promises, the Federal Government has still not paid the COVID-19 hazard allowance to all health workers across the country.
He said the association “noted the sorry state of the healthcare delivery system characterized by the perpetual unavailability of personnel protective equipment for healthcare workers in our hospitals with the attendant increase in infection rates, the unnecessary suffering of patients and their relatives, the financial hardship, the obsolete equipment, machines and technology etc.
“NEC noted the commitment of National Assembly speaker to implement the Medical Residency Training Act by ensuring inclusion of the residency funding into the reviewed 2020 budget.
“NEC observed the insincerity of the Appointees of Executive Arm of Government in paying the outstanding salary shortfall of 2014, 2015, 2016 under the guise of the so called appeal of the National Industrial Court decision.”
Sokomba said the National Executive Council (NEC) has resolved to proceed on an indefinite nationwide strike with the exemption of its members attending to COVID-19 patients at designated treatment and isolation centres for two weeks, after which if things remain the same, they shall also be co-opted to join the strike.
He said the exemption was in recognition of the efforts of the speaker of the House of Representatives and the chairman of the House committee on health.
The National Executive Council meeting of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) held a virtual meeting on June 14 to review the 14-day ultimatum issued to government which elapsed two days ago.
The meeting was attended by over 500 doctors – NOC, NEC, Past Presidents, Caucus leaders, Committee Chairmen, and observers.