By Daniel Ayantoye
Hard times await patients of public hospitals nationwide as the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARDs), has insisted on embarking on a nationwide strike effective from today (Monday).
The President of NARDs, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Dr. Olusegun Olaopa, announced the impending strike recently in a statement made available to newsmen in Ibadan.
According to Olaopa, the resident doctors would commence an indefinite industrial action today to press home their demands.
He said the action is sequel to a statement signed by Drs. John Onyebueze and Aneke Emmanuel, National President and Secretary of NARDs, respectively.
The statement said it was resolved at the NEC meeting of NARDs held in Abuja on August 26 to embark on the strike.
“Neither the federal nor state governments has shown commitment to the resolution of issues at stake nor honoured previous agreements.
“Consequent upon this, the association resolved to proceed on a total indefinite industrial action from Monday, September 4, 2017, until all these issues are permanently resolved. “Nationwide pre-strike protests against this injustice are to hold in all our branches and states of the federation on Aug. 30, 2017.
“All heads of tertiary health institutions who have received funding for payments to our members should be directed to pay same immediately,” it said.
The members of NARDs are demanding for the resolution of persistent shortfalls and unpaid arrears of salaries earned in both federal and state tertiary health institutions. Other issues are the enrolment of resident doctors into the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) since 2003, and non-implementation of adjusted House Officers’ Entry grade level equivalent since 2014. The resident doctors are also asking for the resolution of issues around their stagnation of promotion and non-promotion of members who have met requisite criteria despite all collective bargaining agreements and circulars.
In a related development, the Kwara State chapter of NARDs has stated the readiness of its members to be part of the looming strike.
Speaking with this medium in a telephone chat last night, the President of ARDs, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) chapter, Dr. Ige Kolawole said that his men will partake in the industrial action.
“We will be joining 100 per cent and the reason is that everything the national body is agitating for, we are also affected. When you talk about payment of salaries, new homes, officer’s entry level and a host of others, we are affected,” Kolawole stated.
Recall that this medium recently reported ARDs, UITH chapter’s five-day warning strike over alleged slash of their salary.