The National Association of Resident Doctors has directed its members in public hospitals in the country to begin a five-day strike from 8am on Wednesday (today).
The association said public hospitals nationwide would remain shut till Monday next week as the association embarked on the strike to force government to accede to its demands.
The implication of the present strike is that all patients in government hospitals across the nation would not be attended to by consultant (senior) doctors, who are often fewer in number than the resident doctors.
The President of NARD, Dr. Muhammad Askira, stated this on Tuesday, while reading to journalists the communique issued at the end of the association’s extra-ordinary National Executive Council meeting in Abuja.
The communique was co-signed by the Secretary-General of NARD, Dr. Ibrahim Kuburi, and Publicity/Social Secretary, Dr. Eugene Ahuruezenma.
According to Askira, government had failed to meet the demands of the doctors despite recent assurances from President Muhammadu Buhari, when he met with the leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association, where he assured the doctors of prompt attention to their grievances.
He clarified that the indefinite strike, earlier planned for Monday had been shelved, adding that NARD would further take a decision on the next line of action at the end of May.
Askira said after critical analysis of issues affecting NARD, the NEC observed that there were ongoing plans to resolve the impasse between the government and the doctors.
He added that the efforts so far made by government had yet to meet the doctors’ demands.
The issues, according to him, included unpaid salaries of some resident doctors, skipping and accrued arrears for doctors yet to be implemented in most hospitals, unpaid December salaries in some federal hospitals; and house officers’ entry steps not implemented.
The association argued that a committee promised by government on residency training had yet to take off, while some of their members sacked by government had not been recalled.