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Nigerian doctors commence nationwide strike amid COVID-19 pandemic

Following the expiration of its notice, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has commenced a nationwide strike.

NARD President, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, had warned that the doctors would embark on an industrial action if the Federal Government failed to meet its demands.

In a circular Sunday night, the body ordered its members nationwide to down tools.

The decision was consequent upon the 14 days ultimatum “served the government for indefinite strike action, in accordance with the resolution of the Ordinary General Meeting of the Association on the May 29”.

NARD told all resident doctors, medical officers below the rank of Principal Medical Officer and House Officers across all the Federal and State hospitals in Nigeria, to embark “on a total and indefinite strike”.

The strike took effect 12:01 am on Monday, 15th June 2020.

The doctors were urged to make alternative arrangements for the care of patients.

It added that no service of any kind, “be it emergency, care at COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres shall be exempted”.

The body sympathized with affected patients and the Nigerian populace.

NARD listed its demands as provision of grossly inadequate appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for all health care workers; reversal of the disengagement of all 26 resident doctors in Jos University Teaching Hospital, and the payment of all salaries owed them.

Others are implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act in all federal and state hospitals and pay parity among doctors of equal cadre; implementation of the revised hazard allowance and payment of the COVID-19 inducement allowance as agreed with the government.

NARD is also demanding the provision of funding for Medical Residency Training in the 2021 Appropriation bill and payment of all arrears owed its members in tertiary health institutions, arising from the consequential adjustment of the national minimum wage.
Nigerian doctors commence nationwide strike amid COVID-19 pandemic

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