THE National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has declared a five-day warning strike, effective Wednesday, May 17.
The group declared the strike after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Monday, May 15, over alleged refusal by the federal and some state governments to meet their demands.
NARD’s president, Orji Innocent, headed the meeting, which was held physically and virtually.
On Thursday, May 11, The ICIR reported that the the association was set to embark on a fresh industrial action.
The report followed a previous publication where the doctors gave the government a two-week strike notice.
Some of NARD’s demands include the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) payment, alleged refusal by the government to pay the salary arrears of 2014/2015 and 2016 to its members, and the arrears of the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage.
They also demanded an immediate increment in the CONMESS salary structure to 200 per cent of the current gross salary for doctors and called for immediate suspension of the bill seeking to stop doctors from migrating abroad.
The doctors equally warned state governments yet to implement the appropriate CONMESS structure, domesticate the Medical Residency Training Act, or improve the hazard allowance paid to their colleagues and other health workers, to do so without delay.
Besides, NARD sought immediate massive recruitment of health professionals to replace workers leaving, immediate infrastructural lift in health facilities, and an increase in budgetary allocations to the health sector.
The ICIR reports that with the current five-day strike, NARD would have gone on nationwide strikes for a total of 159 days since 2013.
The ICIR in December 2021, reported that incessant strikes by the association and other health workers working in Federal Government-run hospitals resulted in the loss of about 300 working days between 2013 and 2021.
NARD ordered 61 per cent of the strikes.
The association was responsible for 11 of the 19 industrial actions recorded within the period.
The association went on strike for 154 days out of the total 252 days recorded by the government as of that year.
The ICIR obtained the data on strikes in the sector from a response to a Freedom of Information Act request it sent to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, headed by Chris Ngige, in August 2021.
The request followed incessant industrial actions by employees in the nation’s public hospitals.
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