Strike looms as resident doctors give FG 2-week ultimatum

National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, has threatened to shut down the health sector if the Federal Government fails to address its demands in the next two weeks

NARD demands including immediate withdrawal and jettisoning of the bill seeking to prevent Nigerian medical doctors from being issued full practicing licenses or allowed to travel abroad for five years, and also a 200 percent salary increment for doctors.

NARD President, Dr Emeka Innocent, gave the warning on Saturday, while reading the communique issued at the end of the Extra Ordinary National Executive Council Meeting of the association in Abeokuta, Ogun State

Innocent said “despite several engagements with FG on the need to upwardly review the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, CONMESS, which was last reviewed over ten years ago.

“The government has neither engaged NARD in the negotiation table nor taken any step in addressing the issue.There had been previous ultimatums issued to the government on account of the salary structure review

Also frowning at the refusal of government to pay salary arrears of 2014,2015 and 2016 as well as the arrears of the consequential adjustment of minimum wage, Innocent noted that many state governors are yet to implement the appropriate CONMESS structure, domesticate the medical residency training act, MRTA, or improve on the hazard allowance paid to NARD members

In the nine-point resolutions, the body demanded an “immediate increment in the CONMESS salary structure to the tune of 200% of the current gross salary of doctors in addition to the new allowances included in the letter written by NARD to the Honorable Minister of Health on the 7th of July 2022 for the review of CONMESS.”

Other demands are immediate massive recruitment of clinical staff, commencement of payment of all salary arrears owed our members including the 2014, 2015 and 2016 salary arrears as well as areas of the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage

According to him, the two weeks ultimatum begins Saturday 29th of April 2023, to resolve all these demands, following the expiration of which on the 13th of May, we may not be able to guarantee industrial harmony in the sector nationwide

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