Journalism in the service of society

Resident doctors to embark on daily protests over unmet demands

THE Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has stated that the Federal Ministry of Health, the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, as well as all federal and state tertiary health institutions nationwide will be the targets of a daily peaceful protest and picketing beginning from Wednesday.

The association stated in a letter to the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) that it was giving the notice yesterday in order to press home its requests, which it claimed had been largely disregarded by the Federal Government.

NARD President, Dr. Emeka Orji and Secretary-General Dr. Chikezie Kelechi both signed the letter.

“We wish to bring to your notice, of the decision of the National Executive Council of NARD to embark on daily peaceful protests and picketing of FMOH, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

“Also, all federal and state tertiary health institutions nationwide, with effect from Aug. 9 at 10.00 a.m.

“This has become necessary to press home our demands which have been largely neglected by our parent ministry and the Federal Government.

“We are pained that rather than make genuine and concerted efforts to resolve the challenges that led to the industrial action in spite of repeated ultimatums, our parent ministry and the Federal Government have chosen to demonise Nigerian resident doctors instead, after all their sacrifices and patriotism.

“We therefore resolved that it is time the whole world hears our side of the story, the decay and corruption in the health sector as well as the neglect, the public health institutions have suffered all these years that led to repeated industrial actions,” the letter read.

NARD, however, asserted that it thought the government still had time to take serious action to solve the pertinent concerns prior to August 9 or else it would be left with no choice.

NARD had launched a “total and indefinite strike action” on July 25.

Among the demands made by the resident doctors were the quick payment of the 2023 MRTF, the immediate release of the one-for-one replacement circular, and the payment of skipping arrears.

The list also included the CONMESS upward review in line with the full salary restoration to the 2014 value of CONMESS, the payment of the back arrears of the consequential adjustment of minimum to the omitted doctors, and the reversal of the downgrading of the membership certificate by MDCN.

Additional requests included the payment of MRTF, new hazard allowance, skipping and implementing rectified CONMESS in State Tertiary Health Institutions, as well as the making of back payments on omitted hazard allowance.

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