By Ndidi Chukwu
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have given Federal Government 21 days from Monday April 4 to reverse decisions on sack and pay for medical doctors or face strike.
President of NARD, Dr Muhammad Askira who revealed this during a press conference after the association’s executive council meeting in Abuja, said when the 21-day ultimatum expires, industrial harmony in various hospitals may not be guaranteed if the existing realities are not resolved.
“NARD will no longer tolerate the undue sack of resident doctors and demands immediate reversal of such, we urge government to ensure appropriate and adequate remuneration of our members at various hospitals,” he said.
The association said its members in state-owned tertiary hospitals in Osun, Imo, Oyo, Kogi, Abia and Ekiti states have not been paid in the past three to eight months.
“Most hospitals are paying our members only fractions of their salaries, notably Federal Teaching Hospital (FETHA), Abakiliki, Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Umuahia, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu.
While in University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin City, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) Irrua, Edo and National Orthopaedic Hospital (NOH) Dala, Kano salaries for November and December 2015 are yet to be paid,” Askira said.
The ultimatum and possible threat comes shortly after the health ministry issued circular asking hospital managements to uphold a no-work-no-pay directive against striking workers.
NARD has said it will not be deterred by the threat of the circular, citing its members who have gone months with fractions of their pay or none at all.
Health Reporters gathered that among NARD demands is for government to release and implement guidelines for residency training with budgetary backing.
The association also wants government to adequately fund hospitals, upgrade facilities to help curb the menace of foreign medical tourism.