Despite meetings with the FG, resident doctors across Nigeria have embarked on a nationwide strike over issues that include salary shortfalls and pension remittance.
According to a report by The Guardian, the President of NARD, Dr. John Onyebueze, announced this in Abuja on Monday, September 5, 2017 after a meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the association.
“The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) rising from its ordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, which held on September 3, 2017 in Abuja, rejected the memorandum of terms of settlement from government on the items of her demand for strike, and resolved to proceed on the proposed national total and indefinite strike with effect from 8 a.m. Monday 4th September 2017,” he said.
However, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole and his Labour and Employment counterpart, Senator Chris Ngige, who met with the resident doctors till the wee hours of Saturday, September 2, 2017, declared that the planned strike had been suspended.
According to the report, issues in dispute include salary shortfall of 2016 and January to May 2017; failure to rectify the salary shortfall from August 2017; failure to circularise house officers’ entry point; failure to correct the stagnation of promotion of members and properly place them on their appropriate grade level; failure to enroll and capture members on the Integrated Personnel Payment Information System (IPPIS); failure to budget, deduct and remit both the employer and employees’ contributions and NARD members’ pension to retirement savings account since 2013.
The doctors' action portends more trouble for a government that is already grappling with Labour issues in critical sectors, including an ongoing strike action by university teachers. The current industrial unrest in the health sector is the second in the life of this government.