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Strike: Doctors extend ultimatum by two weeks

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THE National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has extended the two-week ultimatum issued to the Federal Government three weeks ago by another two weeks.

The decision was taken at the association’s Extraordinary National Executive Council (E-NEC) meeting in Ilorin, Kwara State, on Saturday.

The meeting resolved to give the Federal Government more time to respond to the doctors’ demands.

NARD had, on July 30, called on the Federal Government to improve its members’ welfare and meet other demands in a communique.

The association threatened to embark on strike if the demands are not met.

In another communique issued after the E-NEC meeting and available to The ICIR on Sunday, the association admitted that the Federal Government was working on some of its demands but frowned at four state governments it said owed its members.

NARD said none of the states, namely Imo, Ondo, Ekiti and Gombe, had responded since it issued the July ultimatum.

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According to the association, the states are owing ten, five, three and two months salaries and arrears, respectively.

 In its latest notice, NARD noted the “commendable efforts made by the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, and National Salaries Income and Wages Commission towards the upward review of the Medical Residency Training Funds (MRTF).”

However, the association bemoaned what it called the slow pace encountered in paying the MRTF to its eligible members that were omitted earlier.

It also decried the delay in implementing and paying the newly upgraded hazard allowance since its circularisation by the Federal Government in December 2021.

NARD also deplored “the worsening spate of brain drain in our health care system leading to a perpetual shortage of manpower with attendant burnout. 

“This deplorable situation has led to the shutdown of the Federal Medical Center, Owo on Friday, August 19 2022, as a consequence of the immense manpower shortage in the centre.”

Consequently, the group demanded that the Federal Government urgently implement and commence payment of the 2022 MRTF in full to all its members.

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The association said it would continue to work closely with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) towards implementing and paying the new hazard allowance to all affected healthcare workers by the Government.

The resident doctors also urged Nigerians to prevail on the state governments owing its members to pay to save them from the “deplorable conditions” they currently live in.

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