Resident doctors threaten FG with fresh strike in three weeks

Resident doctors threaten FG with fresh strike in three weeks

THE National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has notified the Federal Government of it’s intention to go on another three-week strike if the government failed to meet up with its demands.

Aliyu Sokomba, President of NARD, who made the position of the association known in a communique on Saturday said government has up till August 17 to meet up with the demands of the resident doctors.

It would be recalled that members of the association called off an initial strike on June 22 in order  to give the Federal and State Governments time to fulfill the outstanding demands of the association.

But Sokomba said the association decided to issue another warning to go on strike after a virtual National Executive Council (NEC) meeting and scientific conference held on Saturday.

“NEC resolved to extend the suspension of our strike action by three weeks to give the government time to address our demands, failure of which will leave us with no choice other than to resume the suspended strike on Monday, August 17 2020,” he said.

The conference was held at the Gombe International Hotel between July 20 and 25 2020.

According to The PUNCH, while giving the ultimatum to the Federal Government, Sokomba lamented that the payment of COVID-19 hazard allowance to members was long overdue.

The association called for a probe by the Federal Government and the National Assembly on the non-enrollment of healthcare workers in Group Life Insurance and non-payment of death-in-service benefit to the next-of-kin of its fallen heroes, notwithstanding claims of payment to insurance companies.

Following an emergency general meeting to protest against the lack of payment for COVID-19 inducement allowance for frontline healthcare workers, NARD had embarked on an industrial action on June 15, but on June 21, the association announced the suspension of its strike after its NEC meeting attended by over 300 members.

The association said COVID-19 inducement allowance has only been paid to eleven federal health institutions, noting that most state governments are yet to review the hazard allowance of health workers.

It also stated that other reasons for the strike include  lack of personal protective equipment in some hospitals, disengagement of resident doctors at the Jos University Teaching Hospital and challenges of its members in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomosho, non-provision of medical residency training funding and salary shortfall for 2014-2016.

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