By Haruna Gimba
The National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) has warned that failure of Federal Government to meet all of its demands within 21 days will leave them with no option but to embark on a graded, step wise indefinite nationwide strike action
The notice was contained in letter addressed to the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, dated April 1, 2016 with Ref No NARD/HMH/VOL.3/4/01 signed by NARD National President Dr. Muhammed Adamu Askira and Secretary General Dr. Ibrahim Shettima Kuburi.
The NARD letter notified the health minister that it was resolved at its extra-ordinary National Executive Council meeting which held on March 31, 2016 in Abuja to give the government a 21 days ultimatum starting from April 4, 2016, of which inaction by the government would result in a graded, step wise strike action as follows:
“By the end of 21 days on April 25, 2016, all branches in Osun State will embark on indefinite withdrawal of services. Seven days later that is on May 2, 2016, all branches in the southwest geopolitical zone will also join in the action. By May 9, 2016, if all demands are not met, all branches nationwide will join in indefinite withdrawal of services,” the letter stated.
It would be recalled that Health Reporters reported that the residents doctors had sometimes in April gave the Federal Government 21-day to meet it demands or face a nationwide industrial action.
Among NARD demands is for government to release and implement guidelines for residency training with budgetary backing and reverse decisions on sack and docked pay for doctors.
In addition, the association wants government to adequately fund hospitals, upgrade facilities to help curb the ‘menace of foreign medical tourism.’