There may be no end in sight soon for striking Resident Doctors to call off their strike because the Federal Government is unwilling to yield to their demands since the strike action started in early August 2021.
However, as a way of showing solidarity to the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), has thrown its weight behind the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), who are demanding better working conditions and commensurate remunerations for a job well done as Doctors in Nigeria.
In a statement released by NMA on Sunday, August 29, jointly signed by the Association’s President, Prof. Innocent Ujah, and its Secretary-General, Dr. Philips Ekpe, NMA said, the Association would not allow the victimization of any doctor for participating in the NARD strike.
Another resolve of NMA, after the Benin, Edo state meeting, held between August 22nd to August 28th, the National Executive Council (NEC), also said, the Medical Association is giving the Federal Government of Nigeria 21 days ultimatum, to resolve all pending issues with the Resident Doctors.
The statement reads:
“The various industrial disputes involving the different affiliates of the association was exhaustively reviewed.
“After due consideration, NEC put the Federal Government on a 21-day notice to fully resolve all the issues contained in the various agreements signed with the affiliate members of the NMA including NARD, MDCAN, and MEDSABAMS.
“The Nigerian Medical Association fully supports all her affiliates in their efforts to improve healthcare delivery in Nigeria and the welfare of her members.
“NEC affirms that no doctor shall be victimized for participating, or not participating in the strike by NARD.
“If the FG fails to implement the agreements after the expiration of the 21 days notice, NMA shall summon an Emergency Delegate Meeting to review the progress made on the implementation of the agreements”.
The nationwide strike of the Resident Doctors, started on August 1, after the expiration of the 3 months’ notice the Association gave the FG, to implement the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, they both agreed on elapsed, with the FG not fulfilling the promises made to the Doctors; and despite several attempts by the National Assembly (NASS), to intervene in the matter, the result has been favourable to the FG, leaving ‘no end in sight’ for the strike.
The FG had also issued a circular, directing all Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) and Medical Directors (MDs) of both state and federal hospitals, to open a work register for doctors; the implication been, ‘no work, no pay’ despite several months salaries owed some of the striking doctors and the unbefitting working conditions among other challenges encountered by the Doctors in the cause of their duties.