The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors says it will commence an indefinite strike action on Monday August 2, 2021.
The National president of NARD Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, announced this on Saturday in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, at the end of the association’s National Executive Council meeting.
He cited the inability of the Federal Government to implement the agreements it entered with the union 113 days after it suspended the previous strike.
Uyilawa said that poor working environment in public hospitals, irregular payment of doctors’ salaries and hazard allowances of N5,000 monthly, which was reviewed last in 1991, were some of the issues under contention between the union and the Federal and state governments.
He revealed that as part of a memorandum of action with the Federal Government, it was agreed that NARD members should enroll with the integrated personal payroll information systems, to prevent shortfalls in salary, adding that the agreement did not go as planned as a result of an embargo from the office of Head of Service of Federation.
He lamented that only one out of 19 families of medical doctors who died while treating COVID-19 patients had received their death-in-service insurance after assurances from the Minister of Health, Dr. Ehanire Osagie; and Minister of Labour & Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige.
He said, “We ask Nigerians, when will our government become responsible enough to solve the challenges facing the health sector?
“Even with all these problems, only four percent of the total budget is allocated to the health sector, while 25-50 percent goes into payment of those in power.
“That shows that priority lies more on the interest of those in power than on Nigerian citizens.
“While we apologise to Nigerian citizens for the impact of the impending strike action on them, we want the government to implement all the agreements we have had with it for over a decade’s standing to improve the health sector and doctors’ welfare.”