By Asmau Ahmad
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) said it will embark on a daily peaceful protest from Wednesday as part of measures to ensure its demand are met.
The association gave the notice on Saturday in a letter addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and made available to newsmen.
The letter which has ‘Notice of Nationwide Mass Protests and Picketing by NARD was signed by its President, Dr Emeka Orji and Secretary-General, Dr Chikezie Kelechi.
According to the doctors, it is the decision of the National Executive Council of NARD to embark on such action.
“We wish to bring to your notice, of the decision of the National Executive Council of NARD to embark on daily peaceful protests and picketing of FMOH, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
“Also, all federal and state tertiary health institutions nationwide, with effect from August 9 at 10.00 a.m.
“This has become necessary to press home our demands which have been largely neglected by our parent ministry and the Federal Government.
“We are pained that rather than make genuine and concerted efforts to resolve the challenges that led to the industrial action in spite of repeated ultimatums, our parent ministry and the Federal Government have chosen to demonise Nigerian resident doctors instead, after all their sacrifices and patriotism.
“We therefore resolved that it is time the whole world hears our side of the story, the decay and corruption in the health sector as well as the neglect, the public health institutions have suffered all these years that led to repeated industrial actions,” it stated.
The association, however, said that it believed that the government still had time to genuinely address the issues at stake before Aug. 9, or leave it with no other option.
The resident doctors embarked on indefinite strike on July 26.
The major demands of the association are immediate payment of 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), immediate release of the circular on one-for-one replacement and payment of skipping arrears.
Others are the upward review of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) in line with full salary restoration to the 2014 value of CONMESS and payment of the arrears of consequential adjustment of minimum wage to the omitted doctors.
Also demanded is reversal of the downgrading of the membership certificate by Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).
Other demands include the payment of (MRTF), new hazard allowance, skipping and implementation of corrected CONMESS in State Tertiary Health Institutions and payment of omitted hazard allowance arrears.