By Chioma Obinna
The National Executive Council, NEC, of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, Friday announced its resolve to proceed on an indefinite nationwide strike beginning from Monday 7th of September 2020 over non-implementation of life insurance and residency training among others.
The indefinite strike, according to a communiqué it issued after a meeting to review earlier 21-Day ultimatum it issued to the Federal government, the strike would begin by 8:00 am on Monday until all their demands are met.
The Communique jointly signed by the President, Dr Sokomba Aliyu, Secretary-General, Dr Bilqis Muhammad and the Publicity/Social Secretary, Dr Egbogu Stanley and adopted by over 200 doctors drawn from NOC, NEC, Past Presidents, Caucus leaders, Committee Chairmen of the association among others observed that in spite of the inclusion of the residency funding in the revised 2020 budget the government has not made plans to implement the payment despite several promises by several stakeholders.
The resident doctors also observed the failure of the Federal government to procure group life insurance and death in service benefits for all health workers.
They demanded immediate payment of the Medical Residency Training funding to all members as approved in the revised 2020 budget.
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Other demands include; the provision of genuine Group life insurance and death in service benefits for all health workers, payment of the outstanding April/May and June COVID-19 inducement allowance to all health workers, determination of the revised hazard allowance for all health workers as agreed in previous meetings with relevant stakeholders.
They are also demanding immediate payment of the salary shortfalls of 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The communiqué with reference number NARD/SG/2019-2020/040920 also states that: “Doctors working under the various tertiary health institutions should be placed on the appropriate salary grade level and universal implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act of 2017 in all State tertiary health institutions.
“Payment of all arrears owed our members in Federal and States tertiary health institutions, arising from the consequential adjustment of the National minimum wage.
“We will continue to appreciate His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his commitment to the course of Nigerians and we appeal to Nigerians to bear with us during this period of industrial disharmony.
“We, however, call on relevant stakeholders intervene on these issues to ensure a speedy resolution,” they stated.