The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has expressed its intention to initiate an open-ended strike if the Nigerian government does not fulfill its demands by July 19, 2023, News About Nigeria reports.
In an interview on Sunday, Dr. Emeka Orji, the President of NARD, revealed the association’s ultimatum to the government.
Last week, NARD issued a fresh two-week notice urging the government to implement the pending agreements that were made during a five-day warning strike from May 17 to 21, 2023.
NARD had previously signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government, aiming to address the concerns raised by resident doctors.
The doctors have put forth a set of requests, one of which is for the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to stop devaluing the membership certificates issued by the West African Postgraduate Medical and Surgical colleges.
Additionally, they are demanding the prompt payment of all salary arrears, the implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, an increase in hazard allowance, and the local adoption of the Medical Residency Training Act, among other issues.
Dr. Orji expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s lack of action in scheduling a meeting to discuss the agreements and fulfill the demands put forth by the doctors.
He stated, “We will embark on an indefinite strike should the government fail to meet our demands. We have not received any invitation from the government for a meeting regarding our demands. What we need right now is not just a meeting but the implementation of the agreements, particularly the ones with specific timelines. Most of our demands can be implemented within a day or two.”
Dr. Orji emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, “The Federal Government has approximately nine days left to prevent the unnecessary disruption of healthcare services in this country.”
If the strike proceeds as planned, it could result in a significant halt to healthcare services provided by resident doctors throughout the country.
The potential consequences of such an indefinite shutdown could have far-reaching implications for the well-being and medical care of the Nigerian population.
It remains to be seen how the government will respond to the ultimatum issued by NARD.
Whether they will prioritize the resolution of the doctors’ concerns and engage in meaningful dialogue to prevent the strike or if the strike will indeed take place, leading to the disruption of healthcare services, is a matter of great concern.