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‘FG neglected our ultimatum’ — resident doctors defend warning strike

‘FG neglected our ultimatum’ — resident doctors defend warning strike
May 16
14:31 2023

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) says the federal government ignored its two weeks ultimatum.

The association had threatened to embark on strike if the government was unable to meet its demands.

Some of the demands include massive recruitment of clinical staff in the hospitals; immediate infrastructural development in hospitals and an allocation of at least 15% of the budgetary provisions to health; immediate payment of the 2023 medical residency training fund (MRTF); and the immediate increment in the consolidated medical salary structure (CONMESS) to the tune of 200% of the gross salary of doctors.

On Monday, TheCable reported that the association said it would embark on a warning strike from May 17 to May 22.

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Speaking during a press conference on Tuesday, Innocent Orji, NARD president, said the government neither reached out nor made any significant move while the ultimatum lasted.

He said the association’s national executive council (NEC) considers the development embarrassing for the country.

“NEC frowned at this development and wondered how the government could claim to have the interest of the Nigerian citizens at heart and still neglect such a well-publicised ultimatum,” he said.

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The NARD president called on the federal government to address the issues raised before the inauguration of the next administration.

He said further industrial harmony “cannot be guaranteed after the warning strike should the issues be left unresolved”.

“We had to calm tempers down. Many were asking for an indefinite strike but we considered the incoming government,” he said.

“We are essential service providers on paper but the government is not treating us that way.

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“Most of the issues we raised can be addressed in days. If they address some in days and start negotiations, our members will have no cause to strike. We’ll meet again next week to review the situation.”

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