Despite meeting with a federal government delegation to resolve pending issues, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) commenced an indefinite strike on Thursday.
“We commence strike 8 a.m. today while we are still trying to evaluate the federal government’s offer,” the president of the association, Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, told PREMIUM TIMES Thursday morning.
The NARD had threatened to commence an ‘indefinite strike’ on Thursday if the Nigerian government fails to meet its demands including non-payment of allowances.
Okhuaihesuyi said the resolution was reached after NARD’s extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on Saturday.
He said the ultimatum given to the federal government to meet the association’s earlier demands will expire on March 31, with no significant achievement.
Resident doctors, who are undergoing training to become consultants, make up a large percentage of doctors in Nigeria’s tertiary hospitals.
The doctors are demanding, amongst other things, payment of all salaries arrears, review of the current hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers, and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 allowance especially in state-owned tertiary Institutions.
“Immediate payment of all salary arrears including March salaries for our members in all Federal and State Tertiary Health Institutions across the country especially ASUTH, IMSUTH and UNIMEDTH,” the president said.
“Upward review of the current hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance especially in State owned-tertiary Institutions.