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Again, resident doctors go on indefinite nationwide strike

Two weeks after the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) issued an ultimatum to the Federal Government for the implementation of its demands, the association has declared an indefinite strike, starting at midnight on Wednesday.

According to the president of the association, Dr Emeka Orji, the medical practitioners listed their demand to include the implementation of the one-for-one replacement policy for healthcare workers. They further demanded that the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria discontinue the downgrading of the membership certificate issued by the West African Postgraduate Medical and Surgical Colleges and the immediate payment of all salary arrears.

Other demands are the implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure; a new hazard allowance; and the domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act, among others.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Orji said the strike was necessary to drive home their point: “Our members are saying that we have been on this since January on the same issues, and they are not going to continue to wait.

“The very important part of our demands is one-for-one replacement, and doctors are still leaving and the ones remaining are being overworked.

“Last week, a doctor died in Bayelsa State. Doctors are dying from being overworked, and we have been on this for a long time.

“When we met on Friday, everybody was calling for a strike, and I just had to plead with them because the Secretary to the Government, George Akume, intervened, but up till today, we cannot reach them again, and nobody wants to hear about any intervention by the government again,” he said.

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