Resident Doctors Threaten Strike Over Non-Payment Of Allowances

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has issued a stern warning of a potential nationwide strike over the non-payment of accoutrement allowances owed to their members. 

This decision was made public through a communique released after their general meeting held in Kaduna State. 

The communique instructed all NARD chapters to deliver a two-week ultimatum to their respective chief medical directors (CMDs) and managing directors (MDs) to resolve the outstanding payments immediately.

The communique, which was signed by Dr. Dele Abdullahi Olaitan, President; Dr. Anaduaka Christopher Obinna, Secretary General; and Dr. Egbe John Jonah, Public and Special Secretary, emphasized that failure to meet these demands would trigger industrial actions across the country. 

The doctors’ association highlighted the urgency of the situation and the potential impact on the healthcare system if their grievances are not addressed.

Beyond the immediate issue of unpaid allowances, the resident doctors raised several other critical concerns during their discussions. 

They called for the abolition of the casualization of doctors, advocating for more stable and equitable employment standards within the healthcare sector. 

This move, they argue, is essential for maintaining high standards of care and ensuring the well-being of medical professionals.

Additionally, NARD urged healthcare providers to expedite their transition to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

 This system is designed to streamline payroll procedures and improve the efficiency and accuracy of payments to medical staff.

A significant concern addressed in the communique was the safety of medical personnel. 

The doctors warned that any assault on medical staff would lead to an immediate suspension of services until the safety of the area is assured. 

They called on the National Assembly to pass legislation that would criminalize assaults on healthcare workers, reflecting the critical need for a secure working environment.

NARD also proposed a reduction in the examination fees for the West African Colleges of Surgeons and Physicians. 

This measure, they believe, would facilitate the registration of resident doctors and support their professional development.

The threat of a strike by resident doctors comes in the wake of a recent decision by the leadership of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to relax a nationwide strike that had been ongoing since Monday. 

This decision was reached after a joint extraordinary National Executive Council meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday. 

The Labour leaders indicated that they would pause the strike action for a week to allow for further negotiations with the Federal Government.

“The NLC and TUC are going to relax the strike and see what happens in the next one week with negotiations with FG,” one of the sources mentioned. 

This period of negotiation is crucial as it coincides with the resident doctors’ ultimatum, adding pressure on the government to address the various labor issues swiftly.

PLATFORM TIMES reports that as the two-week deadline approaches, the situation remains tense, with the potential for significant disruptions in the healthcare sector if the doctors’ demands are not met. 

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