Why resident doctors insist on nationwide strike June 15
The National Association of Resident Doctors NARD has said nothing will stop its nationwide strike scheduled to begin next Monday, June 15, until the Federal Government addresses all the issues and challenges faced by its members in the course of their statutory and legitimate duty.
The National President of the association, Dr. Aliyu Sokomba, had in an official circular last week, given the government 14-day ultimatum and directed members to commence a warning strike effective June 15, 2020. This is to protest the harsh working environment the members have been subjected to, especially under the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to the death of many health workers, including doctors.
The President, who spoke in a Channels TV interview, listed the failure of the government to implement the life insurance policy for health workers, more than three months after it was announced and non -payment of COVID-19 hazard allowance.
He also listed the slashing of salaries and allowances of health workers, who are on the fore front of the fight against coronavirus, citing Kaduna State, where Governor Nasir e-Rufai has effected over 25 per cent cut in salaries and allowances, harassment of health on legitimate duty by security agents as well as the lingering issue of lack of Personal Protective Equipment PPE for health workers.
This, he regretted has led to the death of many health workers, including doctors, citing the instance of Dr. Abubakar Lambo, who died recently at the Bauch Teaching Hospital and many others, a development that is worsened by the total absence of any life insurance, thus leaving the families of the deceased with nothing to fall back on.
According to him, the body found it necessary to “take this decision following the inability of the government to meet its demands upon the 14 days ultimatum duly given to the Federal Government for indefinite strike action.”
He advised that alternative arrangements should be made to care for patients, as the “strike shall be total and indefinite. No service of any kind, be it emergency, care at COVID-19 isolation, and treatment centres shall be exempted”.
The President, who pleaded with individuals organisations to impress it on the goernment to reason within the doctors, however said the association is available for talks that would lead to an amicable resolution of the issues.