Nigerian Doctors prepare for another round of strike

The Nigerian Doctors have again threatened to commence strike if the Nigerian government fails to meet their demands, arguing that both the federal and state governments had defaulted on agreements made with them in the past.

Penpushing reports that, the Doctors under the aegis of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) made this known in a communique issued at the end of the association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held from 25th to 30th July in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

The communique signed the president of the association, Dr Godiya Ishaya, pointed out that  four states which include Imo, Ondo, Ekiti, and Gombe are owing them  10, five, three, and two months respectively, in salaries and other arrears.

Lush Arena

“The NEC shall by the expiration of the two weeks ultimatum, reconvene to review the progress made so far and take further actions for which nationwide industrial harmony may not be guaranteed,” the communique said.

Penpushing further reports that the Doctors are demanding the immediate implementation and payment of the new hazard allowance and arrears, among other things, stressing that some arrears for 2014, 2015, and 2016 have remained unpaid despite several negotiations with the government.

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) noted that since the implementation of a new minimum wage in 2019, some of their members are yet to benefit from the consequential adjustment, which they are deprived off since it was implemented some years ago.

“The NEC demands immediate payment of consequential adjustment of minimum wage to our members who have been deprived of this benefit since it was implemented several years ago”, the communique emphasised

Penpushing also reports that, the Doctors are equally demanding an immediate review of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and other related allowances given the current economic situation in the country.

The association said this is also in line with the agreed terms from the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that it will be reviewed regularly, noting that the Abia State Government had made little progress towards implementing the Medical Residency Training Act (MRTA 2007), and payment of 26 months’ salary areas owed resident doctors at the Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH).

Penpushing reports that, the body appealed to the state government to keep to the latest agreement of paying seven months’ salary arrears within one week in the first instance, and two months’ salary arrears monthly to its members until the arrears are cleared.

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) appealed to the government to increase allocation to the health sector to 15 per cent of the national budget as agreed by heads of African countries, and called for steps to be taken toward curtailing the brain drain in the health sector.

Penpushing further reports that, the association called on government on finding ways of eliminating all bureaucratic bottlenecks in the employment and replacement of Doctors leaving the nation for greener pastures.

The body condemned attacks on its members by the public and, as well, on other health professionals in their workplaces and enjoined the government at all levels to look into the issue and thoroughly investigate the ongoing cases.

Penpushing also reports that, the Doctors called for measures to be put in place to nip this menace in the bud to forestall future occurrences, noting that these inhumane acts have affected its members both physically and mentally.

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