The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors has issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to commence the implementation of all pending agreements or face industrial disharmony.
NARD gave the ultimatum after its Extraordinary National Executive Council meeting held via Zoom on Wednesday.
Speaking exclusively with The PUNCH, NARD President, Dr Emeka Orji, said, “We are issuing a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to meet our demands with effect from today, Wednesday, July 5 to Friday, July 19, 2023.
“Unfortunately, none of the demands that made us embark on the five-day warning strike have been met. The government has not attended to any of them even after signing the Memorandum of Understanding. All the timelines on the demands have passed.
“The circular for one-on-one replacement was signed in the MoU that it will be released on or before June 5, 2023. It is over a month, nothing has been done and it has not been released. The government says the payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund will be done when the 2023 fiscal year starts; we learnt the fiscal year started last month and up till now, it has not been paid.
“If the government does not meet our demands at the end of the ultimatum on July 19, industrial harmony cannot be guaranteed and from the feelers we have, it will no longer be a warning strike, it will definitely be an indefinite strike.”
The PUNCH reported that resident doctors in the country embarked on a five-day warning strike on May 17 to 21, 2023, to press home their demands.
The association had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government to address the issues raised by the resident doctors.
The doctors are demanding an immediate increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure to the tune of 200 per cent of the current gross salary of doctors, immediate massive recruitment of clinical staff in the hospitals; immediate withdrawal of the bill seeking to compel medical and dental graduates to render five-year compulsory services in Nigeria before being granted full licences to practise; immediate infrastructural development in the hospitals with a subsequent allocation of at least 15 per cent of the budgetary provisions to health in line with the 2001 Abuja declaration.
They are also demanding the immediate massive recruitment of clinical staff in the hospitals and the abolishment of the bureaucratic limitations to the immediate replacement of doctors and nurses who left the system.
Other demands are the immediate payment of the 2023 MRTF in line with the agreements reached at the stakeholders’ meeting convened by the Federal Ministry of Health on February 15, 2023.