Doctors begin 5-day strike today

By The Citizen

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has declared five days of warning strike starting on today (Wednesday) to press for its  demands against “remuneration injustice”.

NARD president Dr Muhammad Askira told a press briefing in Abuja it’s negotiations with government representatives after President Muhammadu Buhari assured their demands would be considered were not satisfactory.

“There are  some processes still ongoing in resolving the impasse,” Askira admitted, but said, “Efforts so far made by government has not yet met our demands” with respect to doctors’ pay and residency training.

Among NARD’s grievances, according to Askira, resident doctors at Federal hospitals including UBTH, UCH and LUTH have not been paid December  salaries unlike their non-doctor counterparts, new entry steps for house officers are yet to be implemented.

He noted that some hospitals still bar doctors from skipping a pay grade unlike non-doctor after a court ruling allowed the practice, and arrears that have accrued from years of the practice are yet to be paid to doctors.

NARD is also aggrieved that a government committee to consider reintroduction of residency training programme is yet to take off and that its members who were “unfairly sacked are yet to be recalled.”

A previous indefinite strike due to start on Tuesday, after an ultimatum that’s run more than 30 days, was shelved in favour of the warning strike.

Askira said the decision was to “press home our demands, on one hand, and also to enable the  government enough time to expedite action in areas of ongoing negotiations not adequately addressed.” - Daily Trust.