The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors has resolved to commence “a total and indefinite strike” on April 1 2021, by 8am, if the Federal Government refuses to accede to its demands.
This was the outcome of its Extraordinary National Executive Council meeting held on Saturday March 27 2021 at the Trauma Center of National Hospital Abuja to review its earlier ultimatum and deliberate on burning issues affecting residency training, healthcare delivery and welfare.
The communique of the NEC attended by over 50 chapters of NARD was signed by its President, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi; Secretary-General, Dr. Jerry Isogun and Publicity/Social Secretary, Dr. Dotun Osikoya and obtained by journalists on Sunday evening.
The document reads, The NEC unanimously agreed that NARD should proceed on a total and indefinite strike on April 1 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 March 31 2021.
“Immediate payment of all salary arrears including March salaries for our members in all Federal (GIFMIS platform) and State Tertiary Health Institutions across the country especially ASUTH, IMSUTH and UNIMEDTH.
“Upward review of the current hazard allowance to 50% of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID – 19 inducement allowance especially in State owned-tertiary Institutions.
“Abolishment of the exorbitant bench fees being paid by our members on outside postings in all Training Institutions across the country with immediate effect.
“Payment of Salary shortfalls of 2014, 2015 and 2016 to our members in all Federal Institutions including state-owned institutions as earlier agreed with NARD.
“Payment of death in service insurance for all health workers who died as a result of COVID-19 infection or other infectious diseases in the country.
“Universal domestication/implementation of the 2017 MRTA by all Federal Government and State-owned Training Institutions to ensure proper funding of Residency Training in the country as stipulated by the Act.
“Immediate payment of 2019, the balance of 2020 and 2021 Medical Residency Training Funds to our members including those under state government employ.
“Immediate implementation of September 2017 Memorandum of Terms of Settlement between NARD and the Federal Government of Nigeria in order to bring lasting peace to the health sector and curb the ongoing ugly trend of brain drain from the health sector.
“Immediate review of the Act regulating Postgraduate Medical Training in Nigeria in line with International Best Practices to remove the unnecessary rigors in Residency Training in Nigeria, one of the factors attributed to brain drain in the health sector.
“Immediate commencement of employment into all Government-owned hospitals to improve service delivery to Nigerians, enhance Residency Training and curb the attendant brain drain in the health sector.
“We also demanded the reintroduction of medical super salary structure and specialist allowance for all Doctors as already approved for some other health workers. This will go a long way in ensuring peace in the health sector.
“The NEC unanimously demanded the sack of the Registrar of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria for failure to demonstrate competence in the handling of the central placement of house officers. This will give room for smooth implementation of the central placement of house officers without further delays.
“Finally, the NEC reiterated her commitment to the smooth running of all tertiary institutions in the country and the provision of specialist healthcare to Nigerians but urge the Federal Government to urgently meet the above demands in order to avert this avoidable industrial action.”