The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has said it will resume another strike should the Federal and State Governments fail to address the demands of the union across the country within two weeks.
NERD expressed concerns, particularly about its members’ conditions in Abia and the Imo States, saying they were being owed up to 21 months’ salary arrears.
In a communiqué issued after its 41st Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) in Nnewi/Awka, Anambra State and read by its National President, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, the union said the strike was suspended following government’s promises in the Memorandum of Actions signed at the instance of the Labour and Employment Minister, Chris Ngige on April 9, 2021.
The communiqué partly reads, “While the OGM notes the willingness of the government to migrate members from the GIFMIS to the IPPIS platform, we decry the lackluster behavior exhibited by heads of government’s corporations to achieve this.
“The OGM noted with dismay the stale attitude of the governors of Abia and Imo states and their appointees towards addressing the issues of payment of salaries for 21 months and seven months, respectively.
“National minimum wage, consequential adjustment, and salary shortfalls have not been paid, while Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) have been mandated to submit lists of affected institutions and personnel strength.
“The OGM frowned at the delay by the Federal Government in sorting out the irregularities following the payment of the Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) 2020.
“We noted that teaching hospitals are grossly understaffed and this is necessitated by the ongoing deadly brain drain killing the nation’s health care system. Our members are still in agony as a result of these delays and some House Officers are still owed up to two months' salaries.
“After extensive deliberations on all the issues affecting the welfare of our members and the insincerity of the government in fulfilling their promises, the OGM unanimously resolved that our ultimatum be extended by two weeks.
“This will further give the Federal Government more time to resolve all our issues, failure of which the association shall resume the suspended total and indefinite strike action after critical appraisal in an emergency meeting.
“We are unequivocal in assuring members of the public that the NARD is committed to the smooth running of the Health sector. However, we can only do so when our welfare is given the desired attention.”