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Resident doctors to embark on indefinite strike from Thursday

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Members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) are set to begin an indefinite strike on Thursday.

This followed the expiration of the 60-day ultimatum given to the Federal Government on January 25 for the payment of arrears of salaries of house officers across the country and the review of hazard allowance, among other demands.

Decrying the N5,000 hazard allowance paid to its members, the association also noted that since the pandemic began in 2020, it has sadly lost 17 doctors, whose families and loved ones are yet to benefit from the Death in Service Insurance Scheme.

NARD President Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi dropped the in a statement in Abuja after NARD’s extra-ordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Sunday.

He said: “The NEC observed that her earlier ultimatum given to the Federal Government during the January 2021 NEC meeting in Owerri will expire by 12 midnight on the 31st of March 2021 with no significant achievement.

“The NEC reiterated her full support for the Central Placement of House Officers. Nevertheless, they decried the agony our members have been made to pass through for three months now without salaries despite uninterrupted service delivery to the nation.

“This is due to the inefficiency of the Registrar of MDCN in handling the processes of central placement of House Officers as approved by the Federal Executive Council since 2017.

“The NEC bemoaned the suffering of some of our members in GIFMIS platform who have not been paid salaries for four months now due to delay in biometric capturing by IPPIS department.

“They lamented the inhumane treatment being meted on our members in some State Tertiary Institutions like ABSUTH being owed twenty months salaries, IMSUTH five months salaries and UNIMEDTH three months salaries.

“The NEC also observed that despite the three-month window given to the Federal Government to review the hazard allowance of health workers, the hazard allowance has remained a paltry sum of five thousand naira monthly.

“The NEC noted that despite the efforts of NARD, the erroneously paid 2020 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) to non-resident Doctors is yet to be addressed. Also, the 2019, some of 2020 and 2021 MRIF are yet to be paid.”