Despite court orders, NARD says strike will continue until demands are met

DESPITE court orders, the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has insisted that the ongoing strike action will continue until its demands are met.

President of the NARD Dare Ishaya said this at the end of the association’s 41st Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Scientific Conference in Bauchi State on Saturday.

“After critical appraisal of the performances of both federal and state governments on all the issues that led to the ongoing strike as stated above, the AGM unanimously resolved by vote to continue the total and indefinite strike action until our minimum demands are met,” Ishaya said.

On its minimum demands, the NARD said the Federal Government should ensure the payment of Medical Residency Training within 72 hours and payment of the arrears of salaries of its members on GIFMIS platform within 72 hours while the migration process continued.

The association asked the Federal Government to withdraw the case against NARD in court and pay withheld August and September salaries.

Also, NARD said the Federal Government should prevail on various state governments to urgently pay arrears of salaries and allowances owed its members in the state tertiary health institutions.

The association said the government had delayed the payment of the Medical Residency Training Fund despite claims that the money meant for it was available and the fact that the list of beneficiaries had been submitted.

The NARD also lamented that some of its members employed by state governments, especially in Abia, Imo, Ekiti and Ondo states, were being owed 20 months, six months, four months and four months’ salaries arrears, respectively.

“They also observed that some House Officers are still owed 1-2 months’ salaries and refunds of their illegally deducted accommodation fees. The AGM noted that bench fee for outside postings by Resident Doctors has been abolished, however some chief medical directors are yet to fully implement it,” Ishaya said.

He further said the AGM also frowned at the delay in payment of death in service insurance benefits to the next of kins of its deceased members despite their sacrifices to the country.

The ICIR had reported that the National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja had, twice, directed the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to suspend its nearly two-month-old strike.

Author: Lukman ABOLADE

[Courtesy: International Centre for Investigative Reporting]

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