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UCH resident doctors join warning strike

by James Davies


Resident Doctors at the University College Hospital, Ibadan have joined the ongoing five-day warning strike embarked on by the National Association of Resident Doctors

UCH chapter president, Dr. Abiodun Ogundipe, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan that the strike aimed at repositioning the healthcare system.

He said it also meant to end brain drain in the health sector and improve the welfare of members.

NARD had served a notice on the Federal government on Tuesday warning that it could not guarantee further industrial harmony should there be a failure to address issues raised before May 29.

NARD’s letter titled, “Notice of Strike Action’’ was signed jointly by its National President, Dr. Innocent Orji and Secretary-General, Dr. Chikezie Kelechi.

They stated that the association had issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to resolve issues before its expiration on May 13.

The letter read in part, “Regrettably the issues have remained unresolved despite several attempts by NARD to get the government to resolve them.

“Rising from her Extra-Ordinary Meeting on Monday, May 15, NARD’s National Executive Council resolved to embark on a five-day warning strike beginning on May 17.’’

The doctors are demanding an immediate increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure to the tune of 200 per cent of the current gross salaries of doctors.

NARD is also demanding the immediate withdrawal of the Bill seeking to compel medical and dental graduates to serve compulsorily in Nigeria for five years before getting full licences to practise.

The association also wants immediate domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act and a review of Hazard Allowance by state governments.

Speaking with NAN, Ogundipe, NARD president, UCH chapter, said, “Patients wait for long hours to see a doctor because of shortage of manpower and because doctors are leaving for greener pastures.

“Our demand is that the Federal Government should call us for negotiation regarding issues that pertain to our members’ welfare.

“We have the issue of the Medical Residency Fund for 2023, which is yet to be paid.

“There is a need to review the Consolidated Medical Salaries Structure which was last reviewed in 2009. We also have the issue of unpaid salary arrears from 2014 to 2016.

“There was a consequential adjustment of minimum wage arrears that is yet to be paid when the new minimum wage was implemented among other issues.’’

Ogundipe said other issues were those affecting resident doctors in states, some of which include the non-domestication of the Medical Training Act and non-payment of salary arrears by state governments.

NAN reports that while many resident doctors at the UCH stayed away from their duty posts, other medical professionals were on duty.

(NAN)

 



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