The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) will engage in a warning strike if its demands are not met by the federal government.
Orji Innocent, president of NARD, told reporters that the strike will begin at 8:00 am on Wednesday, May 17, and conclude at 8:00 am on Monday, May 22.
Monday’s extraordinary meeting of the association’s national executive council, he said, resulted in the association’s decision.
The association had previously threatened to go on strike if its demands were not met by the federal government within two weeks.
The National Association of Retired Doctors (NARD) stated that the government refused to negotiate with the association or take concrete measures regarding the “upward review” of the consolidated medical salary structure (CONMESS).
The association also accused the federal government of refusing to pay resident physicians’ salary arrears for 2014, 2015, and 2016.
“NEC observed that despite multiple engagements by NARD with the government on the need to upwardly review the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS), which was last reviewed more than ten years ago, the government has neither called NARD to the negotiation table nor taken tangible steps to address the issue,” the association stated in a communique.
“NEC recalled that NARD had previously issued ultimatums to the government regarding this issue of the evaluation of the CONMESS salary structure.
“NEC also reiterated that the previous collective bargaining agreement (CBA) on CONMESS clearly stated that the salary structure would be up for review after five years, but this has not occurred since the implementation in 2014, even though approval was granted in 2009.”
“NEC demands an immediate increase in the CONMESS salary structure to the tune of 200 percent of the current gross compensation of doctors, in addition to the new allowances outlined in the letter sent by NARD to the minister of health on July 7, 2022, requesting a review of CONMESS.
“NEC demands immediate massive recruitment of clinical staff in hospitals and the abolition of all bureaucratic barriers to replacing doctors who leave the system immediately.”
The resident physicians also opposed the measure that would require physicians and dentists to practise for five years before relocating abroad.