The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi Abuja, has embarked on a three-day warning strike over non-payment of shortfalls in their salaries.
The president of the association, Adejo Arome, confirmed this development to PREMIUM TIMES via a telephone interview on Monday.
He said the strike became necessary because money meant for payment of the salary shortfall had been paid into the hospital account in December 2019 but was not disbursed.
“We are embarking on strike because our rights are being trampled upon. We have salary shortfall which was remitted into the hospital account but the account department has refused to release it to us.
“They claim that the money was not tagged for our welfare but we were given evidence that proper notification was given to them.
“But they have misappropriated the funds for other things which the money was not tagged for,” he said.
Mr Arome said in spite of the Managing Director’s directive that the money be paid, the hospital’s account section had yet to pay.
He said the hospital makes a lot of money from patients as it is one of the most expensive in the Nigerian capital.
“We know this hospital is one of the most expensive and we know how much patients have to pay every time. So we know how much the hospital makes.
“We feel bad that they are not giving us what is due. We have responsibilities too, we have children. So this situation is necessary to drive home a point,” he said.
He noted that the association tried all its best to avert the strike, but the management frustrated its efforts.
“We would only back down on the strike if we received alert as evidence of payment for the December 2019 salary shortfall arrears,” Mr Arome said.
He apologized to the general public for this line of action but said it was necessary at this point.
“The management has taken us for granted because we have never had any strike in this centre.
“We have a principle of patients first but now we are solely becoming patients and so we have to take this regrettable action,” he said.