President of Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, says the Ministry of Labour and Employment has yet to invite the striking doctors for dialogue.
Okhuaihesuyi made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja while giving an update on the NARD strike, which enters its seventh day today.
He said, “No invitation has been extended to NARD from the Ministry of Labour and Employment over the ongoing strike; the strike is still on.
“We did not get any invite from the Ministry of Labour, so, we will continue till they call us.
“However, we have a scheduled meeting with Rep. Tanko Sununu, chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Healthcare Services on April 8.”
He added that NARD was still waiting and hoping that government would respond appropriately, noting that it was desirous that the strike came to an end.
Okhuaihesuyi said that the association would not shift ground because that was why it delayed the strike and considered all options to ensure it was averted but had to resort to the action as a last resort.
“We reviewed all avenues to avoid the strike and sorted things out before it got to this stage and as it stands now, we cannot back down.
“That is the instruction from our National Executive Council; we resolved that until our demands are met, the strike will continue.”
NAN reports that NARD embarked on an indefinite strike on April 1 to press home its demands over welfare, non-review of hazard allowance, salaries, among others.
NARD is seeking immediate payment of all salaries owed to House officers, including March salary not paid before the end of business on March 31, 2021.
Other relief being sought is the abolishment of exorbitant bench fees being paid by members on outside postings in all training institutions across the country.
The association is also demanding upward review of the current hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance, among others.
Meanwhile, the NARD president said that government hospitals are still providing services as consultants are still attending to patients.
“It is the resident doctors that are on strike and they are below the consultants, so, services are still ongoing in hospitals.”