Atiku reveals consequences as residents doctors embark on nationwide strike

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Former Vice President Atiku Abukar has warned that Nigerians would suffer needlessly if the nationwide strike embarked upon by resident doctors was not immediately halted.

He said that the strike would further endanger the lives of Nigerians who are already grappling with the current health emergency situation.

The Herald can report that the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) on Monday commenced a nationwide strike at the expiration of a 14-day ultimatum.

National President of NARD, Dr. Aliyu Sokomba had described the decision to embark on strike as “painful”.

However, he said that the decision became inevitable following the Federal Government’s failure to meet the association’s demands.

“Consequent upon the 14 days ultimatum duly served the Federal Government for indefinite strike action, in accordance with the resolution of the Ordinary General Meeting of the Association on the May 29, we hereby notify you that all resident doctors, medical officers below the rank of Principal Medical Officer and House Officers across all the Federal and State hospitals in Nigeria, shall be embarking on a total and indefinite strike action effective 12:01 am on Monday, 15th June 2020.

“It is important that you make alternative arrangements for the care of the patients as the strike shall be total and indefinite. No service of any kind, be it emergency, care at COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres shall be exempted. We sympathize with the patients and the Nigerian populace.

“For purpose of clarity, the demands on which the ultimatum was predicated include the following; Provision of grossly inadequate appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for all health care workers; Immediate reversal of the illegal disengagement of all 26 resident doctors in Jos University Teaching Hospital, and the payment of all salaries owed them, in keeping with provisions of the Medical Residency Training Act.

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“Universal Implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act in all federal and state hospitals and ensuring pay parity among doctors of equal cadre; Immediate implementation of the revised hazard allowance and payment of the COVID-19 inducement allowance as agreed with by the Federal Government and healthcare workers three months ago,” Sokomba said in a circular last week.

Reacting, Atiku said, “Nigeria cannot afford an industrial strike by medical doctors or indeed any others in this season of the #COVID19 pandemic.

“The relevant government agencies should urgently sit down with the leadership of NARD and iron out outstanding issues to save citizens already overwhelmed by the current health emergency situation.”

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