Resident doctors reconvene Wednesday, may declare full strike

Leadership of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has scheduled to meet on Wednesday, to decide whether or not to go on strike.

The meeting, they say, follows the slow pace of implementation of their demands by the Federal government.

Chief among their demands are improved welfare for health workers, including upward review of salaries, payment of new hazard allowance, payment of salary arrears in some States and payment of the newly-reviewed Medical Residency Training Fund among others.

The resident doctors, on July 30, 2022, issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal government to implement its agreements or risk indefinite strike.

On August 21, 2022, the association extended the ultimatum by another two weeks, which lapsed on September 5, 2022.

However, after its extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the weekend in Plateau State, members of the association expressed dissatisfaction over the slow pace of progress with regards to their demands.

They rescheduled a meeting for Wednesday to objectively x-ray efforts of the government and take appropriate action, which could either be to begin its indefinite strike or give the government more time to address its sundry issues.

President of the NARD, Dr. Godiya Ishaya, said: “We went on recess to reconvene on Wednesday by 4 pm virtually via zoom. The other demands and the hazard allowance haven’t been paid. In fact, it is one of the reasons why the meeting became held down and we had to move it to Wednesday for us to go on recess and see if we can make progress.

“The NEC was not happy about the slow pace of progress that had been made, and in all, with the reports I gave them, they were not convinced about it. I have seen significant progress but there were some details I don’t have to be able to persuade the majority or openly defend for them to understand. I had to declare recess for us to reconvene on Wednesday.”

Secretary General of the NARD, Dr. Suleiman Abiodun Isma’il, added: “The meeting was inconclusive as we are on recess so as to further douse tensions and possibly have some time to further do a follow-up on the progress made so far and dialogue with the Federal government.”

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