Doctors to begin strike in teaching hospitals, others
An alleged failure of the Federal Government to fulfill an agreement it made with the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) has made the latter to order its members to withdraw their services from 25 tertiary medical facilities across the country.
The resident doctors suspended their nationwide strike on June 24, 2016 after the intervention of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and other prominent personalities in the country.
Addressing journalists yesterday in Kano, the President of NARD, Dr. Muhammed Adamu Askira, said that the decision to embark on another round of industrial action was reached at the end of the association’s national executive council meeting held between July 25 and 30, in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
Askira said that a series of agreements reached with the government on the demands of NARD were yet to be implemented by the management of the 25 tertiary medical centres. He alleged that resident doctors were unduly victimised and sacked, particularly at Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) and others were yet to be reinstated contrary to resolutions reached with the government.
The NARD president also expressed regret that despite the commitment of the Federal Government to ensuring the commencement of the full payment of arrears which accrued since 2014, at or before the end of July 2016, resident doctors in all the affected 25 branches are yet to receive their entitlements.
The affected branches are Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Birni Kebbi; ABUTH, Zaria; NAT. Eye, Kaduna; National Ear Care, Kaduna; FNPH Kaduna; JUT; FMC, Lokoja; FMC, Bida; University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Ilorin; and UATH, Gwagwaruwa.
Others are FMC, Abuja; Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH); FMC, Owo; FNPH, Aro; University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH); UPTH; ISTH; FNPH Benin; University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH); FMC, Owerri; FMC, Umuahia; FMC, Asaba; NAUTH; and FETHI, Ekiti.
On the implications of their incessant industrial action, Askira, who maintained that doctors were not unaware of the pains constantly suffered by patients, insisted that the action remained the ultimate option government understands.
He accused government of insincerity and lack of commitment to agreement freely reached with NARD.
“Based on intervention and our genuine act of patriotism, we accepted to suspend the indefinite strike for negotiation to resume. Based on our negotiations, we agreed that our members would not be victimised and those unduly sacked would be reinstated.
“We also agreed that payment of the arrears of our remuneration would commence latest end of July. As we speak, 25 out of about 54 branches are yet to start. Our members have not been reinstated”.
Also, NARD called on the Federal Government to enroll their members into the Integrated Personnel Payment System (IPPS) platform to ensure appropriate remuneration and to curtail leakages of public funds in the name of spurious personnel cost.
In a statement by the National Executive Council (NEC) signed by Askira and the Secretary General, Dr. Ibrahim Shettima Kuburi, the association said the move was to curtail any form of corruption in the payment of doctors’ entitlements.
“Our colleagues are subjected to various degrees of victimisation, ranging from no-work no-pay to repeat of completed postings, as a result of their roles in the suspended nationwide strike by NARD. This is contrary to the spirit of negotiations and reconciliation reached with the government at the instance of Dogara.”
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