From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
National Association of Resident Doctors, (NARD), yesterday directed its members in government owned hospitals to suspend services from 8am today.
President of the Association, Dr. Mohammed Askira, told newsmen in Abuja that the five-day strike was to press government to meet its demands.
Askira expressed regret that government hadn’t made any progress with regard to meeting the association’s demands, despite assurances from President Muhammadu Buhari, when he met with leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
He, however, said the indefinite strike earlier planned for last Monday had been shelved and disclosed that the association would take a
decision on next action at the end of this month.
Askira observed that though government and the doctors had commenced the process of resolving the demands of the association, efforts so far made by government didn’t meet doctors’ expectations.
He said some of the unresolved issues include arrears of salaries owed resident doctors who work in states struggling to pay salaries, unpaid December salaries of doctors in some federal hospitals and house officers’ entry steps not effected.
The doctors stated that a committee promised by government on residency training was yet to take off, while some of their members sacked by
government have not been recalled.
He said: “After exhaustive deliberations, the National Executive Committee (NEC) made the following resolution:
“That the proposed indefinite strike action due to commence on May 9, 2016 has been shelved. “That a five-day nationwide warning strike will be
embarked upon commencing from Wednesday May 11, 2016 by 8am for work to resume on Monday May 16, 2016 by 8:am prompt. That NARD will review the situation at our Ordinary General Meeting holding from May 30, 2016.
“This decision is to press home our demands for implementation, on one hand, and also to enable the government enough time to expedite action in
areas not adequately addressed.
“NARD appreciates the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, the leadership of the National Assembly, including all the members of the Senate and House Committees of Heath and Labour matters, NEC members and all well-meaning Nigerians for their positive roles since the beginning of this impasse”.