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Resident doctors begin nationwide strike over welfare issues

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The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Thursday commenced an indefinite nationwide strike to press home their demands for improved welfare and working conditions.

The doctors are also demanding for immediate payment of all salaries owed to all House Officers as well as March salaries not paid before the end of business on March 31.

The President of the association, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, made this known in an interview with our reporter in Abuja.

“We commenced strike today at 8 a.m, we had two meetings with government on March 31, as part of intervention and we had one at 11 a.m. with the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Dr Ibrahim Yahya.

“And we had another at 4 p.m with the Minister of Labour and Employment Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, Memorandum of Understanding was brought to us but we need to go and relate with all members of our association,’’ according to Okhuaihesuyi.

The president said this was to enable the executive of NARD to look at what possible ways to end the strike and on what they have gained and lost as an association.

“I am just a servant sent to do a job. I am guided by the constitution and NEC members will take the message back, then we will review what we are told.

“Although we know that in most of the memorandum signed with government, the government does not keep or hold to their bargain, if we call off the strike now in a couple of weeks they forget about everything.

“Then we will go back to square one, so we need to review what they have said then we will know the way forward,” he said.

It would be recalled that NARD in a communiqué issued on March 29, at the end of its extraordinary National Executive Council Meeting agreed that it should proceed on a total and indefinite strike on April 1, by 8 a.m.

It was reported that other demands are the abolishment of exorbitant bench fees being paid by NARD members on outside postings in all training institutions across the country.

Also, upward review of the current hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance.

Ummul Idris

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