Resident doctors threaten FG with fresh strike 17 August

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The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has given the Federal Government three weeks to address its demands or its members would resume their suspended strike on Monday, 17 August 2020.

While demanding the payment of Coronavirus (COVID-19) hazard allowance to members which, it said, was long overdue, NARD called on government and the National Assembly to probe the non-enrolment of healthcare workers for the Group Life Insurance and non-payment of death-in-service benefit to the next-of-kin of its fallen heroes, despite claims of payment to insurance companies.

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The President of NARD, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, made this known in Abuja on Saturday while reading to journalists a communique issued after its virtual National Executive Council meeting and scientific conference held at the Gombe International Hotel between 20 July and 25 2020.

He said, “NEC resolved to extend the suspension of our strike action by three weeks to give the government time to address our demands, failure of which will leave us with no choice other than to resume the suspended strike on 17 August 2020.”

The PUNCH had earlier reported that NARD had embarked on industrial action on 15 June 2020 following its Emergency General Meeting to protest against the lack of payment for COVID-19 inducement allowance for frontline healthcare workers.

But on 21 June, NARD announced the suspension of its strike after its NEC meeting attended by over 300 members but, however, said its national officers would continue negotiations with stakeholders while the progress made would be reviewed in four weeks during its next NEC meeting in July 2020.

While suspending the action, NARD said COVID-19 inducement allowance “has only been paid to eleven federal health institutions and most state governments are yet to review the hazard allowance of health workers.”

Other reasons for the strike were the lack of personal protective equipment to some hospitals; non-provision of medical residency training funding; salary shortfall for 2014-2016; disengagement of resident doctors at the Jos University Teaching Hospital and challenges of its members in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomosho.

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