PRESIDENT of Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, says striking doctors are determined to push on with the strike till their demands are met. Dr Okhuaihesuyi made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja while giving an update on the doctors’ strike, which has been on for a week now.

Dr Okhuaihesuyi

While also revealing that the Ministry of Labour and Employment was yet to invite the doctors for dialogue as at Tuesday, Dr Okhuaihesuyi said that the association would not shift ground because that was why it delayed the strike and considered all options to ensure it was averted but had to resort to the action as a last resort.

Dr Ngige, Minister of Labour & Employment

“We reviewed all avenues to avoid the strike and sorted things out before it got to this stage and as it stands now, we cannot back down. That is the instruction from our National Executive Council; we resolved that until our demands are met, the strike will continue,” Dr Okhuaihesuyi explained.

He added that NARD was still waiting and hoping that government would respond appropriately, noting that it was desirous that the strike came to an end.

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He said: “no invitation has been extended to NARD from the Ministry of Labour and Employment over the ongoing strike. The strike is still on. We did not get any invite from the Ministry of Labour, so, we will continue till they call us.

“However, we have a scheduled meeting with Rep. Tanko Sununu, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Healthcare Services on April 8.”

NARD embarked on an indefinite strike on April 1 to press home its demands over welfare, non-review of hazard allowance, salaries, among others. It is seeking the immediate payment of all salaries owed to house officers, including March salary not paid before the end of business on March 31, 2021.

NARD’s others demands include the abolishment of exorbitant bench fees being paid by members on outside postings in all training institutions across the country.

The association is also demanding for upward review of the current hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of outstanding Covid-19 inducement allowance, among others.

Meanwhile, the NARD president said “government hospitals are still providing services as consultants are still attending to patients.

“It is the resident doctors that are on strike and they are below the consultants, so, services are still on in hospitals.”

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