By Chioma Obinna
Members of the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, have said they will go strike in 14 days if the Federal Government does not provide Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs, pay COVID-19 inducement allowances, and recall sacked resident doctors at the Jos University Teaching Hospital.
They issued the warning in a communiqué issued at the end of its 40th Ordinary General Meeting with the theme: “Health inequalities and social determinants of Health in Nigeria” in Bauchi State.
The doctors noted “the perpetual lack of personnel protective equipment, PPEs, in tertiary teaching hospital,” and alled on the Federal and state governments to provide adequate PPEs such as N95 respirators, gloves among others, to all health workers.
The doctors in the communiqué signed by the President of NARD, Dr. Aliyu Sokomba, also demanded the payment of the recent COVID-19 inducement allowance that was widely speculated to have been paid to doctors and other health workers.
They said: “NARD demands immediate recall of the sacked resident doctors at Jos University Teaching Hospital and payments of their salaries.
“We also demand the universal implementation of the Residency Training Act in both Federal and state teaching hospital and the immediate implementation of the revised hazard allowance, payment of COVID -19 inducement allowance.”
Other demands include urgent steps to ensure that the fate of their members at the state tertiary health institutions be improved through engagement with the various states’ government and relevant stakeholders.
According to the resident doctors in their strike threat, “we enjoin the Federal Government through the National Assembly to ensure full capture of the residency training funding in 2021 Appropriation Bill.
“NARD demands payment of arrears of the consequential adjustment of the new minimum wage to her members and its application to state tertiary health institutions.
“NARD further condemned the illegal deductions in salaries of their members by some state government and demands an immediate refund.”
They also called on security agencies to stop the harassment and assaults of doctors, while carrying out their legitimate activities.
They further decried the shortage of medical staff, especially resident doctors in most health institutions across the country.
“The Association is hereby issuing a 14-day ultimatum to Government after which the Association shall proceed on a national total and indefinite strike action, should our demands remain unmet at the end of the 14 days,” the communiqués stated.