The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has announced its decision to extend the nationwide strike action, which began on Wednesday, indefinitely. The association stated that the strike would persist until the government makes adequate progress in addressing the issues raised in their ultimatum issued earlier on July 5.
This resolution was reached during the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the association, held in Lagos. The meeting commenced on Monday, with the theme “Bullying in Medical Practice: a Matter of Perspective?”
The communiqué expressing the association’s stance was signed by NARD’s national president, Dr Innocent Orji, Secretary-General, Dr Chikezie Kelechi, and the Publicity and Social Secretary, Dr Umar Musa.
NARD’s list of demands includes the immediate implementation of the One-for-One policy for the replacement of exited clinical staff, which they believe is essential to address the issue of work overload due to the massive outflow of clinical staff from Nigerian hospitals.
NARD is also calling for the urgent disbursement of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) and the payment of all outstanding salaries and arrears, including the salary arrears of 2014-2016, hazard allowance arrears, minimum wage consequential adjustment arrears, and promotion arrears.
Additionally, the association is urging the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to reverse its decision to downgrade the membership certificate, arguing that this move devalues the postgraduate medical training in the country.
NARD embarked on the strike action following the government’s failure to implement previously agreed upon resolutions. Despite various meetings with government representatives and agreements reached, the association expressed disappointment at the government’s slow progress.
Notably, the association observed with dismay that the government has not yet released the circular on one-for-one replacement of exited clinical workers, nearly two months after the agreed date. NARD highlighted the devastating effects of this delay on its members and the Nigerian populace, citing it as a clear sign of the government’s negligence.
SOURCE: Daily Nigerian
IMAGE: People’s Gazette