Nigerian resident doctors to strike over welfare issues

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An association of resident doctors in Nigeria has called for an indefinite nationwide strike starting Monday due to “the failure by the federal and state governments to attend to the issues affecting the welfare of its members.”

The strike becomes unavoidable after the federal and state governments failed to address the issues of welfare, training and service delivery by resident doctors, said Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, president of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

Uyilawa told reporters in a press briefing in the southeast city of Umuahia Saturday evening that the agreement to embark on the indefinite strike action had been reached at the just-concluded 2021 National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of NARD. He accused the government of insincerity in implementing its promises to resident doctors as contained in an agreement signed earlier between NARD and the government.

“NEC therefore unanimously resolved by vote to resume total and indefinite strike from 8 am local time on Monday,” Uyilawa said. “We can only discharge our responsibilities to Nigerians when our lives and welfare are given desired attention.”

Uyilawa said the doctors were dismayed despite several meetings with the government.

Resident doctors in Nigeria embarked on first job action in early April, raising issues including immediate payment of all salaries owed to all doctors, an upward review of the hazard allowance for all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 allowance.

They suspended the strike after NARD reached an agreement with the federal government in mid-April. Enditem

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