By Ngozi Onyeakusi– The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on has threatened to proceed on indefinite strike if the federal government failed to address their demands within 14 days.

The association disclosed this in a communiqué issued yesterday at the end of its virtual 40th Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) and Scientific Conference in Kaduna.

In the communiqué signed by NARD’s national president, Dr. Sokomba Aliyu, and publicity secretary, Dr. Egbogu Stanley the doctors called on the federal and state governments to provide adequate personnel protective equipment such as N95 respirators, gloves, among other things to all health workers.

“NARD demands immediate implementation of the revised hazard allowance, and payment of COVID-19 inducement allowance.

“OGM observes non-implementation of the revised hazard allowance, the non-procurement of life insurance, non-payment of the death benefits claims and COVID- 19 inducement allowance of doctors in various health institutions.

“OGM resolves that urgent steps be taken to ensure that the fate of our members at the state tertiary health institutions is improved through engagement with the various state governments and relevant stakeholders,” it stated.

The doctors also demanded immediate recall of the sacked resident doctors at University of Jos University Teaching Hospital and payments of their salaries.

The association said 26 resident doctors at the teaching hospital were illegally disengaged without recourse to the law governing Residency training.

Besides, it demanded for the universal implementation of the Residency Training Act in both Federal and State Teaching hospitals.

The association enjoined the federal government through the national assembly to ensure full capture of the residency training funding in the 2021 Appropriation Act.

It also demanded payment of arrears of the consequential adjustment of the new minimum wage to its members at both Federal and state tertiary health institutions.

NARD also condemned what it called “the illegal deductions in salaries” of members by some state governments and demanded an immediate refund.

“NARD observes the slashing of salaries of our members at state tertiary health institutions with particular reference to Kaduna state government that cut the salaries of health workers by twenty-five per cent.

“NARD observes non-payment of arrears of the consequential adjustment of the new minimum wage to some of her members.

NARD also observes with concern, the non-implementation of revised CONMESS and skipping arrears by some state governments in various state tertiary teaching hospitals,” it added.

It also called on the security agencies especially in Lagos, Delta states and Abuja to stop the harassment and assault of doctors while carrying out their legitimate activities.

It noted the shortage of medical staff especially resident doctors in most health institutions across the country and called on the government to address the problem.

The 40th OGM was held under the theme: ‘Health inequalities and social determinants of health in Nigeria’ was attended by 74 Chapters of the association across the country.

It deliberated on issues affecting the nation’s health care system and welfare of its members.