Many Nigerians who reported sick at federal government-owned medical hospitals in the last 24 hours have been left stranded .This is due to the nationwide indefinite strike embarked upon by medical doctors under the umbrella of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARDS) – The doctors say the strike will continue until all their demands are met The strike by Nigerian medical doctors began in the early hours of Tuesday, September 5 following the rejection by the doctors, of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) its association had signed with the federal government last week. The minister of labour and employment, Senator Chris Ngige described the action of the doctors as an act of sabotage, while his counterpart in the health ministry, Professor Isaac Adewole, pleaded with the doctors to return to work and give the federal government time to resolve their grievances.
The resident doctors had last week met with Ngige and Adewole, where the federal government made some offers to them. The federal government senior officials failed to nip the action of the doctors in the bud when they met last week. A statement signed by NARD President, Dr. Onyebueze John, in Abuja said: “Rising from our National Executive Council meeting, which started by 7pm on Sunday and ended 3am on Monday, we have resolved to reject the promissory offer from government and proceed on total and indefinite strike action until all items in our demand list for strike action are resolved by government.” the major demands of the doctors are: 1. All heads of tertiary health institutions that have received funding from the federal government for the payment of all outstanding financial obligations should be paid immediately 2. Resolution of persistent shortfalls and unpaid arrears of salaries earned in both federal and state tertiary health institutions 3. Enrolment of resident doctors into the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) 4. Address the non-implementation of adjusted House Officers’ Entry grade level equivalent since 2014. 5. Resolution of the stagnation of promotion and non-promotion of members who had met requisite criteria despite all collective bargaining agreements and circulars. Meanwhile, the federal government has directed chief medical directors of federal hospitals to immediately engage the services of locum doctors, to augment the services of consultants, pending the resolution of the ongoing strike by the resident doctors. The minister of health, Professor Isaac Adewole, made this known in a statement issued by Mrs Boade Akinola, director, media and public relations in the ministry on Tuesday, September 5 in Abuja. The directive was contained in a circular addressed to all CMDs/MDs of federal tertiary health institutions across the country.