The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have declared daily nationwide protests and picketing of federal health institutions as part of efforts to drive home their demands.
In a notice issued after its National Executive Council (E-NEC) virtual meeting, signed by the President of the association, Dr Orji, Emeka Innocent and Secretary-General, Dr Chikezie Kelechi and addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, the association said the protest would begin at 10am, Wednesday
Recall that the group had already commenced an industrial action but, the federal government had three days ago slammed a ‘No work, No pay policy’ against the striking resident doctors.
The Federal Ministry of Health in a letter signed by the Director, Hospital Services, Dr Andrew Noah, directed Chief Medical Directors and medical directors of Federal Tertiary Hospitals to maintain an attendance register of all residents willing to work and furnish the Ministry of such names on a monthly basis.
However, in a notice of protest, NARD stated that “we wish to bring to your notice, 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, 9th August 2023.” the statement said.
It said the move became necessary to press home their demands which have been largely neglected by the parent ministry and the federal government, saying that they were pained that rather than make genuine and concerted efforts to resolve the challenges that led to the industrial action despite repeated ultimatums, the ministry and the federal government have chosen to demonize Nigerian resident doctors after all their sacrifices and patriotism.
According to the statement, it is time the whole world hears its side of the story on the decay and corruption in the health sector as well as the neglect, public health institutions have suffered all these years that led to repeated industrial actions.
“We believe that the government still has time to genuinely address the issues at stake before Wednesday, 9th August 2023, or leave us with no other option. Accept the assurances of our esteemed regards as always,” it said