Resident Doctors Insist On Nationwide Strike

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) yesterday insisted on continuing its warning strike, following the alleged failure of the government to adhere to previous agreements reached with the union.

“The strike would continue until tomorrow, nothing has changed, we continue with the strike until that day,” Thisday quoted Dr. Jubril Abdullahi, national president of NARD, as saying.

According to him, the association had become weary of going back and forth with government on its responsibility to meet the demands of NARD.

Meanwhile, the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) said government should be blamed for the incessant cases of strike in public hospitals in Nigeria.

MDCAN President, Steve Oluwole, stated that the nationwide warning strike which entered day three today was unwarranted if government kept to its promises.

“Strike actions by the resident doctors often provoke emotions and spontaneous reactions, which prevent an in-depth analysis of the underlying problems and issues.

“Most resident doctors are individuals in their late twenties and early thirties. They work very loaded schedules, undergo strenuous training, and prepare for rigorous postgraduate examinations in hospital environments where non-clinical staff also work.

“It is difficult to argue that resident doctors should look away from the remuneration of support staff, when and if such staff have better deals than them. While issues of relativity of remuneration provoke negative emotions outside of the hospital, it is central to equity and justice to ensure that those who discharge the primary functions of the hospital are not paid less than support staff.

“The Federal Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour and Productivity should avoid political decisions, agreements, or memoranda that are designed just to make a striking group suspend its strike, when it is obvious that such agreements are not implementable, or will conflict with previous agreements with other groups. The two Ministries should harmonise positions to put an end to the cycles of strikes over the same issues,” he added.

Oluwole said: “The teaching hospitals and many tertiary medical centres are designed to function with resident doctors working with their consultants. Any expectation that it will be business as usual without them attending to their duties is deceptive. This is not to glamorise the roles of resident doctors, but simply to acknowledge it.”

He however pledged MDCAN’s committment to uninterrupted services in the hospitals, stressing that the confidence of patients in healthcare delivery could not be sustained in the midst of industrial actions.