Resident doctors commence nationwide strike amid COVID-19/

The National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) has embarked on nationwide strike consequent upon the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum the body earlier issued to the Federal Government. 

NARD president, Aliyu Sokomba, who disclosed this at a press conference on Monday, explained that decision was taken at the virtual extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the association which was held on Sunday.

He, however, noted that doctors currently treating patients with COVID-19 at the various isolation centres across the country would be exempted from the industrial action for a period of two weeks.

Sokomba noted the decision exempt doctors handling those with novel disease was due to intervention of the Speaker of the House of Representative, the chairman, house committee on health services, and other stakeholders as well as a demonstration of  “goodwill to Nigerians”.

He pointed out that the exempted doctors would be forced to join the strike if the Federal Government fails to address the issues raised by its members within the stipulated period.

Sokomba said: “Universal implementation of medical residency training act in all federal and state hospitals and ensuring pay parity among doctors of equal cadre, provision of funding of medical residency training in the 2021 appropriation bill.

“Immediate implementation of the revised hazard allowance and payment of the COVID-19 inducement allowance agreed with the government and healthcare workers three months ago.

“Stoppage and immediate refund of all illegal, unjust and callous cut in salaries of our members by Kaduna state and other state governments.”