NARD begins indefinite strike on Monday to protest doctors’ welfare

NARD begins indefinite strike on Monday to protest doctors’ welfare

The National Association of Resident Doctors will on Monday embark on an indefinite strike to protest the non-implementation of their agreements with the Federal Government.

Recall that NARD had shelved its earlier industrial action in April, following a meeting with the federal government.

At the April meeting, the government had set up a committee to look into the concerns of the association, such as non-payment of House Officers' salaries, issue of salary shortfall of resident doctors from 2014 to 2016 among others.

A disgruntled National President of the Association, Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, who addressed the National Executive Council meeting on Saturday, decried that the government was yet to implement the agreements it entered with the union.

"We ask Nigerians, when will our government become responsible enough to solve the challenges facing the health sector?

"Even with all these problems, only four per cent of the total budget is allocated to the health sector, while 25-50 per cent goes into payment of those in power.

"That shows that priority lies more on the interest of those in power than on Nigerian citizens.

"While we apologise to Nigerian citizens for the impact of the impending strike action on them, we want the government to implement all the agreements we have had with it for over a decade's standing to improve the health sector and doctors' welfare."

Uyilawa explained that poor work environment in public hospitals, irregular payment of doctors' salaries and hazard allowances of N5,000 monthly, which was reviewed last in 1991, were some of the issues under contention between the union and the Federal and state governments.

According to him, the Federal Government had agreed that resident doctors be enrolled with the Integrated Personal Payroll Information Systems, to prevent shortfalls in salary, adding that the agreement did not go as planned as a result of an embargo from the office of Head of Service of Federation.

He also revealed that of 19 families of medical doctors who died while treating COVID-19 patients, only one family has received the death-in-service insurance which was promised by the government.

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