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Doctors Threaten To Go On Indefinite Strike

The National Association of Resident Doctors has called on its members to get ready for another indefinite strike which has been scheduled for the 31st of March 2021. This is coming barely nine months after their last strike action. The National Association of Resident Doctors in the public sector is said to be one of the biggest and has been on the frontlines in fighting the pandemic.

It will be recalled that Doctors in Nigeria had gone on strike between June and September 2020 owning to unpaid allowances and poor working conditions.

A new internal memo dated 18th of March 2021 was jointly signed by Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, the President of NARD, and Jerry Isogun the Secretary-General while doctors were advised to get themselves ready financially and mentally for the strike due to the fact that the government has refused to implement certain clauses in their initial agreement.

Okhuaihesuyi mentioned that the paltry sum of N5000 was still being paid to doctors by the Federal Government as hazard allowance. 

The memo with reference number, NARD/SG/2020-2021/180321/376 disclosed that the strike would be indefinite.

The memo reads:

“Recall that at our last ENEC, it was resolved that a two-week timeline be given for the government to expedite actions on issues brought to it. You would also recall that the January NEC gave an ultimatum that will elapse on March 31st, 2021, for all pending issues to be addressed. 

In the light of the above, we ask that all members should be sensitized and encouraged to prepare mentally, socially, and financially for a strike action that will commence on March 31st indefinitely.”

Professor Abba Hassan, the chairman, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria held back the funds meant for doctors as alleged by the NARD President. 

Okhuaihesuyi said:

“A year ago we told them to pay the insurance for members we lost. The Federal Government said they had done everything. After a year, none of the members has received insurance claims.

We are still being paid N5000, hazard allowances while National Assembly members take over N1.2m monthly for hardship allowance.

On February 26th, we were to meet with the Ministry of Labor, only to be told a day earlier that the meeting had been postponed and till today nothing. Enough is enough. They can go ahead to implement no work, no pay. We will make the health sector ungovernable for them.”

The Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment has reportedly refused to meet their needs and also canceled an important meeting where vital issues were to be discussed.