The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has threatened to go on a nationwide strike if the federal government does not meet its demands.
The association said this on Tuesday in a letter signed by Innocent Orji, its president, and addressed to Osagie Ehanire, minister of health.
The association, in its letter, said it had issued an ultimatum to the federal government six months ago on account of issues such as irregularities in the new circular on upward review of the medical residency training fund (MRTF).
Other concerns raised by the association include “outstanding payment of the arrears of the new hazard allowance, non-payment of the skipping arrears for 2014, 2015 and 2016, and non-payment of the consequential adjustment of minimum wage to some of our members”.
The association also cited issues such as delay in the upward review of the consolidated medical salary structure (CONMESS), salary arrears of members in state tertiary health institutions, and non-domestication of the medical residency training act (MRTA) in most states.
NARD thanked the government for resolving some of the issues but said many of them remain largely unresolved and have now become sources of serious nationwide agitation.
“Notable ones amongst them include omitted 2020 MRTF payment, irregularities in the new MRTF circular inconsistent with the medical residency training act, existing collective bargaining agreements and current economic realities and review of CONMESS salary structure,” the letter reads.
“Sir, our January 2023 National Executive Council meeting has been scheduled for January 24th to 28th 2023, and we can confirm very clear feelers that if these issues are not sorted out before that meeting, our members will likely give us mandate to immediately kick-start processes that will lead to a nationwide industrial disharmony in the health sector.
“Sir, we know how critical this period is and the chaos that will ensue if government does not take steps to prevent this from happening, and so we humbly implore you to use your good offices to resolve these issues before our January NEC meeting.
“Sir, we trust in your fatherly disposition and believe that you will come to our aid and save this nation from this imminent industrial disharmony.”