Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has threatened to embark on indefinite strike 14 days from yesterday, if the government at all levels fail to attend to several issues that border on unpaid members’ salaries, entitlements, and other issues that concern the doctors.
The doctors’ association claimed that its members are owed salaries and entitlements, particularly in Kaduna and some other states, claiming that their members at the frontline of fight against Coronavirus are harassed by security agents among several other complaints, which have been reported to appropriate authorities for action.
The Resident Doctors said that they would no longer tolerate such unfair treatment of its members particularly those under the employment of some state governments, particularly Kaduna State that had decided to slash the salaries of medical doctors and also denied them some entitlements, hence the unanimous decision to down tools14 days from now, if actions are not taken.
NARD President, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, in a communique issued at the end of NARD’s 40th Ordinary General Meeting held in Bauchi, demanded the immediate implementation of the revised hazard allowance, payment of COVID-19 inducement allowance, arrears of consequential adjustment of the new minimum wage of members and its application to state tertiary health institutions.
The doctors demanded the immediate recall of the sacked resident doctors at Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), as well as payment of their outstanding salaries and other entitlements in addition to universal implementation of the Residency Training Act in both federal and state teaching hospitals to enhance the availability of manpower in the hospitals.
Regarding the fight against COVID-19, NARD called on the federal and state governments to provide adequate Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) such as N95 respirators, gloves and other equipment to all health workers at the frontline of the battle.
The doctors’ association said that they have resolved that urgent steps be taken to ensure that the fate of their members at the state tertiary health institutions are improved significantly through engagement with the various states’ government and relevant stakeholders.