The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has declared a five-day warning strike, following the failure of the Federal Government to meet its demands. The decision was reached after the association’s extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting yesterday.
According to the resident doctors, the strike will commence on Wednesday, May 17, and end on Monday, May 22. This comes after NARD had issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government on April 29, to implement agreements or face industrial action. The ultimatum ended on Saturday, May 13, 2023.
The resident doctors are demanding an immediate increment in Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, amounting to 200 percent of the current gross salary of resident doctors, and new allowances included in a letter written by the association to Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, on July 7, 2022. They are also demanding the immediate payment of 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), which aligns with agreements reached at a stakeholders’ meeting convened by the Federal Ministry of Health.
Other demands include the commencement of payment of all salary arrears owed members, including 2014, 2015 and 2016 arrears, as well as consequential adjustment of the minimum wage.
NARD President, Dr. Emeka Orji, explained that a detailed explanation would be made during a press conference today as to why the association is opting for strike, less than two weeks to the end of the current administration and inauguration of a new helmsman.
The strike action is expected to cause significant disruptions in the healthcare sector, as resident doctors play a crucial role in the delivery of healthcare services in Nigeria. The Nigerian government is yet to respond to the strike action, but it is hoped that a resolution will be reached soon to avert further disruptions to the healthcare system.