Resident doctors threaten fresh strike

Resident doctors threaten fresh strike

There seems to be no respite yet for Nigeria’s health sector as Resident Doctors are gearing for another strike just as other health workers under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) resolved to return to work on Friday after staying away for 43 days.

The Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) said today, May 31st, it cannot guarantee industrial harmony after its scheduled meeting slated for June 2.

Dr Ugochukwu Eze, the NARD Publicity and Social Secretary, Kaduna State branch, made this known at a news conference, in Kaduna.

“As the 21 days grace handed over to the Federal Government to resolve all lingering issues as well as the recalling of its members sacked by the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) elapsed on Thursday May 31, we scheduled a meeting for June 2, while warning that we cannot guarantee industrial harmony.

It may also interest you all that an extraordinary National Executive Council meeting of NARD is scheduled to hold on the 2nd of June, 2018.

NARD leadership may not be able to guarantee continuous industrial harmony should our legitimate agitations be ignored by the government,” the spokesman said.

Eze recalled that NARD had on March 27 held an extraordinary National Executive Council meeting where issues pertaining to the unjust sack of its members in JUTH were extensively discussed.

“At the end of the meeting, a 30 days ultimatum was issued starting from the 2nd of April, 2018, which elapsed on the 2nd of May, 2018.

“Twelve days after the expiration of the ultimatum, at the Ordinary General Meeting held in ABUTH Zaria from 5th-11th May, 2018, the ultimatum was extended by 21 days to allow Government to effect recall of all sacked resident doctors in JUTH.

“Also to meet up with all outstanding agreement contained in our 6th September, 2017, Memorandum of Terms of Settlement. This ultimatum ends tomorrow, 31st May, 2018,’’ he said.

Eze explained that the association had exhausted all labour engagement requirements to help solve the problem in JUTH through extensive advocacy channels.

“The September 2017 strike was suspended to allow government complete implementation of the terms of settlement but there are still unmet agreements by the government.

“It may also interest the general public to know that the members of Joint Health Sector Workers Union (JOHESU) have been on strike for the past 44 days.

“Healthcare in the country has been anchored upon the shoulders of resident doctors, mainly (NARD), being the largest single body of Doctors in Nigeria,” he said.

Eze appealed to government and the public to impress on government to reciprocate their goodwill and solve their problem.

The Residency training programme is a programme where Specialist Doctors are trained to guarantee availability of Specialist Health Services in the country and minimize brain drain. (NAN)

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