From Esther Akaa,Lafia
The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH), Lafia, Nasarawa State, has joined the nationwide strike embarked upon by the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
The President of ARD in the state, Dr Moses Joshua disclosed this on Friday in an interview with journalists in Lafia, saying the action was a way of showing solidarity to its members working at various federal health institutions in the country.
He noted that NARD had issued an ultimatum to the federal government to meet the association’s earlier demands which expired 31 March, with no significant achievement, leading to an indefinite strike.
“We commenced strike 8 a.m. yesterday following the instruction from our national president. This agreement was reached after an extraordinary National Executive council meeting which was held on the 27th of March in Abuja. Issues were discussed and it was based on those issues and a common agreement by the National Executive council that a unanimous agreement for the commencement of strike was reached.
“Issues that were discussed were Issues that borders not just the doctors in the federal health institutions but issues that affect every doctor in Nigeria. Moreover, any issue that affects any doctor that can as well affect anyone at any given time. So we can not just sit and see some of our colleagues suffering untold hardships and we just sit and do nothing.
“There is a need to review the hazard allowance. It is no longer news that medical doctors are receiving N5000 as their hazard allowance which is grossly inadequate.
“The issue of non-domestication of residence training in some states, no-promotion of health workers for 10 years in some states. Non-implementation of minimum wage in some states, including Nasarawa state.
“The issues of centralisation of house officers, whereby all house officers will be centrally pooled, just like NYSC, so that these house officers can be posted to the various hospitals.Of recent the house officers, have been working for over three months without been paid in most of the centres,” he said.
Dr Joshua said the health care system was in shambles and needed drastic efforts by government at all levels to ensure that the public access good and quality healthcare service delivery.
He therefore, called on government to address all issues raised by NARD so as to rescue the healthcare system from its dilapidated state, saying that since the strike was nationwide, the state chapter of the association would replicate the agreements of its national body.