Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has urged Federal Government to address its demands before May 29.
The association’s President, Dr. Innocent Orji, made the call at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday, saying that the resident doctors had already declared a five-day warning strike from Wednesday 17.
He added that the two-week ultimatum earlier issued to Federal Government expired on May 13 without addressing the association demands.
He said, “regrettably, these issues have remained unresolved in spite of several attempts by NARD to get the government to resolve them.
“We call on the Federal Government to address the issues raised before the May 29 hand over date as further industrial harmony cannot be guaranteed after the warning strike.”
Orji further said that since the expiration of the two-week ultimatum, government did not reach out to the association nor made any significant moves to resolve the issues.
He said the association frowned at this development and wondered how government would claim to have the interest of the Nigerian citizens at heart and still neglect such ultimatum.
According to him, some of the issues raised by the association include immediate increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) to 200 per cent of the gross salary of doctors and allowances.
He said the demands also include the commencement of payment of all salary and other arrears owed members, including 2014, 2015 and 2016 salary arrears, as well as arrears of the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage.
Also included are the immediate massive recruitment of clinical staff in hospitals and abolishment of bureaucratic limitations to the immediate replacement of doctors and nurses who left the system.
The doctors also wanted immediate infrastructure development in hospitals with subsequent allocation of at least 15 per cent of budgetary provisions to health, in line with the Abuja Declaration of 2001, Oji said.
The NARD president said that the association requested immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), in line with the agreements reached at the 2023 stakeholders’ meeting.
The association also requested for immediate implementation of CONMESS , domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act (MRTA), and review of hazard allowance by all the state governments, as well as Private Tertiary Health Institutions.
Orji said that the association would review the progress made during and after the strike at the Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) slated for next two weeks and decide the next line of action.
He expressed the association’s readiness to go into negotiation with government with a view to resolving the disputes .