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Resident doctors to resume nationwide strike Monday

Federal and state governments failed to meet the association’s demands and to implement a memorandum of action after 113 days

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has said it  will resume its nationwide strike on Monday August 2.

The strike is to resume after federal and state governments failed to meet the association’s demands and to implement a memorandum of action after 113 days, NARD said after its executive council met in Umuahia.

The communique was signed by its President Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, publicity/social secretary, Dr Dotun Osikoya and Dr Jerry Isogun, the Secretary general.

The association had suspended its indefinite nationwide strike which commenced on April 1 on April 12 this year after a memorandum of action containing government’s promises was signed at the instance of labour minister Chris Ngige.

NARD is also demanding immediate withdrawal of the circular removing house officers from the scheme of service.

It said some house officers are still being owed up to two months salaries.

“Finally, the NEC stated unequivocally especially to the members of the  public that the NARD is committed to the smooth running of the health sector; however, can only do so when our welfare is given the desired attention,” the communiqué said.

The resumption of the strike centres around the failure of the government to fulfill its promises on salary payment, hazard allowance, medical residency training fees, and COVID-19 allowance among others.

NARD decried the undue hardship its members on GIFMIS platform face due to the delays in payment of their salaries ranging from three to seven months.

The association noted that despite government’s promise to migrate her members from the GIFMIS to the IPPIS platform, they are still stuck on the GIFMIS platform which is laced with payment irregularities.

While noting the efforts of the speaker of the House of Representatives in ensuring that the Medical Residency Training Funds is captured in the supplementary budget, the resident doctors frowned at the delay by the Federal Government in disbursing the funds to its members.

The association said it also observed with concern the conditions of  her members under different state government employs, especially Abia, Imo and Ondo State governments who currently owe  members 19 months, seven  months and four months’ salary arrears respectively.

The resident doctors  also observed with concerns the poor response of most state governments in domesticating the Medical Residency Training Act of 2017 while commending states like Delta and Benue which have adopted the law.

They lamented the acute manpower shortage in most tertiary health institutions and the attendant burnout effects on members. They noted with concerns that this situation is made worse by the ongoing brain drain decimating the nation’s health care system.

“The NEC observed with serious concerns that despite several meetings with the Presidential committee on Salaries and other top Government Stakeholders on the review of hazard allowance for health workers, the hazard allowance still remains a paltry sum of five thousand naira.

“They also noted the non-payment of COVID-19 inducement allowance to some of our members in Federal and most of our members in State Tertiary Institutions,” the resident doctors added.

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