The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has called for statewide protests and picketing of federal health institutions on a daily basis.
The association, which is currently on a statewide indefinite strike, announced on Saturday that the protest will begin on Wednesday, August 9th, at 10:00 a.m.
The resolution, which was signed by the President of the association, Dr. Orji Emeka Innocent, and the Secretary General, Dr. Chikezie Kelechi, was issued after its National Executive Council (E-NEC) virtual meeting on Saturday and addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health.
The notice read in part, “We wish to bring to your attention the decision of the National Executive Council of NARD to embark on daily peaceful protests and picketing of the Federal Ministry of Health, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, as well as all federal and state tertiary health institutions nationwide, with effect from Wednesday, August 9, 2023″.
According to NARD, the move was required to urge their demands, which had been largely ignored by the parent ministry and the federal government.
It said, “We are pained that rather than make genuine and concerted efforts to resolve the challenges that led to the industrial action despite repeated ultimatums, our parent ministry and the federal government have chosen to demonize Nigerian resident doctors instead, after all their sacrifices and patriotism.”
According to the association, it is therefore time for the rest of the world to hear its side of the story about the deterioration and corruption in the health sector, as well as the neglect that public health institutions have endured over the years, which has resulted in repeated strikes.
“We believe that the government still has time to genuinely address the issues at stake before Wednesday, August 9, 2023, or leave us with no other option. Accept the assurances of our esteemed regards as always,” it said in the notice.
The federal government issued a no work, No pay policy’ against the striking resident doctors three days ago.
In a letter signed by the Director of Hospital Services, Dr. Andrew Noah, the Federal Ministry of Health directed Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of Federal Tertiary Hospitals to keep an attendance register of all residents willing to work and to provide the Ministry with such names on a monthly basis.