The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Saturday extended the ultimatum given to the Federal Government to meet its demands by another three weeks.
The new deadline is expected to elapse on the 17th of August, after which the doctors will resume its indefinite strike action, if its demands remain unmet.
The association complained bitterly about the lack of commitment on the part of the government to honour its promises shortly after the doctors’ association called off its strike on the 22nd of June.
It particularly noted that although the COVID-19 hazard allowance payment started, it was subsequently abandoned abruptly immediately the doctors suspended strike.
Also, the medical residency training funding, although captured in the revised 2020 budget, is yet to commence.
The President of NARD, Dr. Aliyu Sokomba, disclosed this in Abuja at a briefing after its extraordinary virtual National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, which was attended by over 200 members of the association across the country.
He said, “NEC demands that various hospitals should be provided with the necessary infrastructures and sustain the provision of the needed personal protective equipment and funding of various tertiary health institutions.
“Though the medical residency training funding has been captured in the revised 2020 budget and signed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the implementation of the funding is yet to commence.
“The COVID-19 hazard allowance payment was commenced and subsequently abandoned abruptly immediately the NARD strike was suspended. The initial intervention of the House Committee on Insurance in addressing the non-payment /non enrolment of resident doctors for life insurance which has now been abandoned.
“We note with dismay nonpayment of the salary shortfall for 2014-2016 despite promises by several stakeholders to intervene which led to suspending the strike action.
“On the State Tertiary Health Institution, NEC noted the non-implementation of the medical residency training Act by some state governments and poor remuneration of state health workers. NEC observed non-payment of arrears of consequential adjustment of new minimum wage to her members.
“NEC demands immediate removal of the Chief Medical Director of University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Prof Henry Ugboma for fraud, administrative rascality, unnecessary onslaught/ victimization and abuse of office of the Chief Medical Director.
We also demand the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of the suspended University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital Association of Resident Doctors Excos led by Dr. Solomon Amadi.”
Sokomba added, “NEC demands that the various hospitals should be provided with the funds they need to run the hospitals and sustain the provision of the needed personal protective equipment in the hospitals.
We demand the immediate implementation and funding of the medical residency training Act as agreed.
“NARD demands payment of salary shortfall to her members. We also demand payment of COVID19 hazard allowance to her members which is now long overdue.
“NARD calls on the Federal Government and National Assembly to investigate and look into the non-enrollment of health care workers for the Group life insurance, and non-payment of death-in-service benefit to the next of kin of our fallen heroes despite claims of payment to insurance companies.
“NEC demands immediate payment of the arrears consequential adjustment of the new minimum wage owed some doctors. NARD calls on the state government to implement the Medical Residency Training Act and to ensure adequate remuneration of state health workers.
“NEC resolved to extend the suspension of our strike action by 3-weeks to give government time to address our demands, failure of which will leave us with no choice other than to resume the suspended strike on Monday the 17th of August 2020.”
Recall that on the 22nd of June, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) suspended its indefinite strike action, which started on June 15.
After deliberations with its National Executive Council (NEC) the association gave the Federal Government four weeks to make good its promises.