The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has expressed disappointment as the federal government failed to address their demands within the two-week ultimatum given by the association.
The NARD had issued a threat to go on strike if the government did not meet their requirements.
Among the demands put forth by the association were the recruitment of additional clinical staff in hospitals, immediate improvements in healthcare infrastructure, allocation of at least 15% of the budget to the health sector, prompt payment of the 2023 medical residency training fund (MRTF), and a 200% increment in the consolidated medical salary structure (CONMESS) for doctors.
As previously reported, the NARD had announced a warning strike scheduled from May 17 to May 22.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Innocent Orji, the President of NARD, stated that the government had not reached out or taken any significant steps to address their concerns during the ultimatum period.
The NARD’s National Executive Council (NEC) finds this lack of response from the government to be embarrassing for the country.
According to him, “NEC frowned at this development and wondered how the government could claim to have the interest of the Nigerian citizens at heart and still neglect such a well-publicised ultimatum.”
He, therefore, urged the federal government to address the issues raised before the inauguration of the next administration.
The NARD’s president said that further industrial harmony “cannot be guaranteed after the warning strike should the issues be left unresolved”.
He said, “We had to calm tempers down. Many were asking for an indefinite strike but we considered the incoming government.
“We are essential service providers on paper but the government is not treating us that way.
“Most of the issues we raised can be addressed in days. If they address some in days and start negotiations, our members will have no cause to strike. We’ll meet again next week to review the situation.”