The national Association of resident doctors(NARD), in Nigeria on Monday launched a nationwide strike after a 14-day ultimatum expired.
This was stated by the President of NARD, Dr. Aliyu Secombe, speaking on Monday at a press conference in Abuja, the Federal capital territory.
He stated that the Association’s decision was based on the fact that the system of medical care is characterized by the constant unavailability of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for medical workers, which has led to an increase in the incidence of diseases.
He also noted that despite repeated promises, the Federal government has yet to pay the COVID-19 benefit to all health care workers across the country.
In addition, the law on medical residency training in all Federal and state hospitals, which ensures that residency funding is included in the 2020 budget under review, has not been implemented.
According to Socomba, ” NEC noted the deplorable state of the medical care system, characterized by the constant unavailability of personal protective equipment for medical workers in our hospitals, with the accompanying increase in morbidity, unnecessary suffering of patients and their relatives, financial difficulties, outdated equipment, machines and technologies, etc.
“NEC noted the commitment of the speaker of the National Assembly to implement the law on the preparation of medical internships by ensuring that funding for the residency is included in the 2020 budget under consideration.
“NEC observed insincerity of Executive branch appointees in paying unpaid salaries for 2014, 2015, 2016 under the guise of a so-called appeal against the decision of the National industrial court.
“NEC has observed the non-payment of the COVID-19 risk incentive benefit to all health workers across the country, despite repeated government promises.”
He added “ ” the NEC noted that the plight of its members in public tertiary hospitals, such as the lack of domestication and non-compliance with the law on the preparation of medical residencies at the state level, the failure to implement the proper salary structure and non-payment of salaries due, and recently the reduction of salaries of doctors and other health workers by the government of Kaduna and Kogi state, has not yet received the attention of stakeholders.
“NEC noted the intrusiveness and abuse of administrative power on the part of Professor Henry A. A.”
Socomba said that the national Executive Council (NEC) of NARD therefore decided to continue the indefinite nationwide strike with the release of its members visiting COVID-19 patients in designated COVID-19 treatment and isolation centers for two weeks, after which, if everything remains the same, they will also be co-opted to join the strike.
He said that this exception is a recognition of the intervention of the honourable speaker of the House of representatives, the Chairman of the House health Committee, Dr. Tanko Sununu, and other interested parties, as well as a demonstration of our good will to Nigerians.
Therefore, the Association requires: “provide all medical workers with extremely inadequate personal protective equipment.
“Universal implementation of the law on training medical residents in all Federal and state hospitals and ensuring pay parity among doctors of equal personnel.
“Immediate introduction of the revised risk premium and payment of the incentive premium COVID-19, agreed by the government and medical professionals 3 months ago.
“Providing funding for medical residency training in the 2021 appropriations bill.
“Payment of all arrears to our members in Federal and state higher medical institutions resulting from subsequent adjustments to the National minimum wage.
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“Termination and immediate compensation for all illegal, unfair and heartless wage cuts to our members by the Kaduna state government and other state governments.”
The Association called on President muhammadu Buhari to call the relevant agents / agencies to order for deliberately creating chaos in order to destabilize his administration.
A meeting of the national Executive Board of the Nigerian Association of resident physicians (NARD) was held almost on June 14, 2020, to review the 14-day ultimatum presented to the government, which expired two days ago.
The meeting was attended by more than 500 doctors – NOC, NEC, former presidents, faction leaders, Committee chairs and observers.