As Resident Doctors gear up to commence a nationwide indefinite strike on Monday, the Federal Government is yet to comment or call for a conciliatory meeting with the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
This may be due to an earlier meeting scheduled to be held on Tuesday by the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), who are also embarking on strike.
NARD had on Saturday directed its members to embark on strike nationwide, from Monday, August 2.
NARD National President, Dr Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, who issued the directive at the end of the Association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting which held in Umuahia, Abia State, said the decision was due to the Federal Government’s inability to meet their demands despite promises made the last time the doctors downed tools.
He said: “We are embarking on a total and indefinite strike on August 2, 2021. You can recall we had a memorandum of action on March 31, 2021, and had an addendum to it on April 9, and since then, we still have had irregularities in the payment of salaries to the house officers.
“We had issues with them being non-regular payment and as part of the memorandum of action, it was said that they should be captured back into the IPPS platform.
“You are aware that we lost 19 members to COVID-19 and death in service insurance was supposed to be paid to their next of kin.
“The last time we met the minister of labour and minister of health, we were told that our members are part of those to be given the insurance benefit, but we found out that their names are not even there.”
Recall that NARD had embarked on an industrial action in April but suspended the strike 10 days later, after a series of conciliatory meetings with the Federal Government at the instance of the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige.