The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has declared an indefinite strike over the government’s failure to meet its demands.
Mr Tajudeen Abbas, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, had urged the resident doctors to put off the strike to enable him interface with the Executive arm of government.
Persecondnews reports that the decision to begin an indefinite strike which will commence on Wednesday morning, July 26, 2023, was reached at a meeting of NARD National Executive Committee (NEC) on Tuesday night in Lagos.
Their major demands include immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), immediate release of the circular on one-for-one replacement, payment of skipping arrears and upward review of CONMESS in line with full salary restoration to the 2014 value of CONMESS.
Others are payment of the arrears of consequential adjustment to the omitted doctors, reversal of the downgrading of the membership certificate by MDCN, payment of new and omitted hazard allowance arrears hazard and implementation of corrected CONMESS in state tertiary health institutions.
The MRTF, according to the doctors, is a program designed to provide financial support to cover various expenses associated with residency trainings, including examination fees, update fees, research projects, and other costs related to doctors’ trainings.
Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu has announced plans to increase the annual budgetary allocation to the health sector by 10 percent.
The Special Adviser to the President on Health, Salma Ibrahim-Anas, who disclosed this on Tuesday, during a health summit organized by Gatefield in Abuja, described the budgetary allocation to the health sector as abysmally poor.
According to her, the health budget presently stands at less than five percent as she assured that the president was committed to financing the health sector.
She said: “The president himself, even before anybody advocated, has said he is going to increase allocations for health.
“He will start from 10 percent of the total budgetary allocation, which must go to health, and that is just the beginning.
“Based on our demonstration of capacity to utilize and an indication of accountability, he will increase more. He has challenged us to do that and he is ready to support us, and to mobilize additional resources wherever they are.”