Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has said it would embark on an indefinite strike beginning from April 1 if the Federal Government failed to meet its demands.
The development was contained in a communiqué issued on Sunday in Abuja at the end of NARD’s extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.
The communique was signed by Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, NARD President, Dr Jerry Isogun, Secretary-General and Dr Dotun Osikoya, Publicity and Social Secretary.
The NEC unanimously agreed that NARD should proceed on a total and indefinite strike on the 1st of April 2021, by 8am if the following demands are not met.
Immediate payment of all salaries owed to all house officers including March salaries (regardless of quota system) before the end of business on the 31st of March 2021.
NARD is demanding a review of the current hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance upward.
The association said payment of salary shortfalls of 2014, 2015 and 2016 to members in all Federal Institutions, including state-owned institutions, as earlier agreed with NARD, must be paid.
NARD is also calling for the abolishment of exorbitant bench fees being paid by members on outside postings in all training institutions across the country.
While decrying the paltry N5,000 hazard allowance paid to its members, the association also noted since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, it has lost 17 doctors, whose families and loved ones were yet to benefit from Death in Service Insurance Scheme.
According to the association, there must be payment of death in service insurance for all health workers who died as a result of COVID-19 infection and other infectious diseases.
NARD has also called for the commencement of employment into all government-owned hospitals to improve service delivery to Nigerians and enhance residency training to curb brain drain in the health sector.
The association also seeks the review of an Act regulating postgraduate medical training in Nigeria in line with international best practices.
NARD demanded the sack of the Registrar of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) for failure to demonstrate competence in the handling of the central placement of house officers.
The communiqué added that it would give room for the smooth implementation of the central placement of house officers without delays.
NARD reiterated the commitment of the union to the smooth running of all tertiary institutions in the country and the provision of specialist healthcare to Nigerians.
The association, however, urged the Federal Government to urgently meet the above demands in order to avert this avoidable industrial action.
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