The National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, began an indefinite nationwide strike on Monday to protest against the federal government over non-payment of salaries and welfare packages.
The doctors resolved to proceed on the strike after a meeting of its national leadership which ended in the early hours of Monday.
The meeting was a follow-up to a previous meeting by some of its leaders with the minister of labour, Chris Ngige and officials of the ministry of health.
The President of NARD, Onyebueze John, said the association resolved to embark on strike after rejecting the ‘promissory offer’ from the government which it said was not firm enough and did not show commitment towards implementation.
The seven major demands of the doctors include:
1. All heads of tertiary health institutions who have received funding for the payment of resident doctors in their establishments should be directed to pay same immediately.
2. A resolution of ‘persistent shortfalls and unpaid arrears of salaries’ earned in both federal and state tertiary health institutions.
3. Resident doctors should be enrolled into the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) which has been on since 2003; the government should also look into the non-implementation of adjusted House Officers’ Entry grade level equivalent since 2014.
4. The resolution of issues around ‘stagnation of promotion and non-promotion of members’ who have met requisite criteria despite the collective bargaining agreements and circulars.
5. Implementation of the National Health Act.
6. The government should improve hospitals facilities, equipment and the poor working conditions of all doctors.
7. The association also wants the minister of health, Isaac Adewole; a former health minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu, and one other, to be sanctioned “for carrying out activities and actions inimical to welfare and progress of the association.”