Resident DoctorsAgency Report

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has urged the Federal Government to urgently intervene in the lingering crises in the health sector to avert the impending strike.

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The Public Relations Officer of the association, Dr Ugoeze Asinobi, told NAN in Yenagoa on Monday that the doctors are bent on going on strike from January 2.

The doctors say they are embarking on strike to press home their demands. They are protesting the non-payment of their outstanding salaries; a uniform Residency Programme template;  improved health facilities in tertiary institutions; and other grievances.

“We don’t want strikes but we are going to have to resort to it again, the residency programme is fundamental to effective healthcare given the dearth of manpower as the country has less than 20 per cent of required experts.

“Each time the ultimatum expired we shift it in the hope that things will be made right within the time given but it is now obvious the Ministry officials are insincere.

“The issues we go on strike for are always the same issues and we are resolute to withdraw services come January 2 if our concerns are not addressed..

“One wonders if health ministry officials are sabotaging the efforts of President Buhari on purpose as their brazen and blatant disregard to the most basic institutional needs of the major workhorses of the health sector leaves a lot to be desired.

“Their attitude leaves one bewildered as sabotage appears to be the only logical explanation,” Asinobi said.

He declared the building of new primary healthcare centres as mere politicking and wastage. In his opinion, the monies should be channelled into rehabilitating, staffing and improving the existing health centres.

He appealed to the federal government to wade into the industrial dispute in the overall interest of the welfare of the citizenry.