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Doctors to begin strike June 15 amid COVID-19

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has declared a nationwide strike starting from Monday, June 15.

In a notice issued on Sunday in Abuja by Aliyu Sokomba, president of the association, and Bilqis Muhammad, the general secretary, the doctors said the decision was taken after the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum given to the federal government to address their grievances.

The association said its members working at COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres will also be withdrawn from providing services.

“Consequent upon the 14 days ultimatum duly served the Federal Government for indefinite strike action, in accordance with the resolution of the Ordinary General Meeting of the Association on the 29th of May 2020, we hereby notify you that All Resident Doctors, Medical Officers below the rank of Principal Medical Officer (PMO) and House Officers across all the Federal and State hospitals in Nigeria, shall be embarking on a total and indefinite strike action effective 12:01 am on Monday, 15th June 2020,” the association said.

“It is important that you make alternative arrangements for the care of the patients as the strike shall be total and indefinite. No service of any kind, be it emergency, care at COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres shall be exempted. We sympathize with the patients and Nigerian populace.

“For purpose of clarity, the demands on which the ultimatum was predicated include the following; Provision of grossly inadequate appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for all Healthcare workers; immediate reversal of the illegal disengagement of all 26 resident doctors in Jos University Teaching Hospital, and the payment of all salaries owed them, in keeping with provisions of the Medical Residency training Act; universal implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act in all Federal and State hospitals and ensuring pay parity among doctors of equal cadre.

“Immediate implementation of the revised Hazard allowance and payment of the COVID-19 inducement allowance as agreed with by the Federal Government and Healthcare Workers 3 months ago; provision of funding for Medical Residency Training in the 2021 Appropriation bill; payment of all arrears owed our members in Federal and States tertiary health institutions, arising from the consequential adjustment of the National minimum wage; stoppage and immediate refund of all illegal, unjust and callous cut in salaries of our members by Kaduna State and other state governments.”

The threat of the doctors is coming at a time the figure of COVID-19 cases in the country is on the rise.

A total of 12,486 cases have now been confirmed in 35 states and the FCT.

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