- The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended its five-day warning strike.
- The association’s president, Dr Emeka Orji, announced that work resumes at 8 a.m. today in all federal and state Teaching Hospitals and other hospitals where resident doctors are trained.
- The progress will be reviewed during their general meeting on June 2, 2023, where the next course of action will be determined.
- The doctors commenced a five-day warning strike last week to demand infrastructural development, an increase in salary structure, and immediate recruitment of clinical staff, among other things.
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) halted yesterday’s five-day warning strike.
The association’s National President, Dr Emeka Orji, said this to Vanguard, stating that all federal and state Teaching Hospitals and other hospitals that train resident doctors will resume work today at 8 a.m.
“Strike has been suspended, and work resumes at 8 a.m., tomorrow (today). We will review the progress made on June 2, 2023, during our general meeting, where the next line of action will be decided,” he noted.
The suspension of the strike follows the doctors’ five-day warning strike last week in public health facilities across the country under the auspices of NARD.
The strike aimed to address several demands by the doctors, such as immediate extensive hiring of clinical staff in hospitals, the abolition of bureaucratic hurdles preventing the timely replacement of doctors and nurses leaving the system, rapid infrastructural development in public hospitals with a subsequent allocation of at least 15 per cent of budgetary provisions to health by the Abuja declaration of 2001, and an immediate 200 per cent increase in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS).
Doctors Return to Duty, but for How Long?
The latest development in the health sector sees resident doctors resuming work after a five-day warning strike.
Their demands, which fueled the strike, still loom large over the public health facilities and could resurface if not adequately addressed.
The doctors were right to demand better conditions, including infrastructural development in public hospitals, increased salary structure, and the immediate recruitment of clinical staff.
Their call for at least 15 per cent of budgetary provisions to be allocated to health, in line with the Abuja declaration of 2001, is a plea for fulfilling a promise that has languished for over two decades.
However, the suspension of the strike is no victory.
Instead, it’s a pause that allows those in power to critically analyze the health sector’s issues and address them pragmatically.
The shortage of clinical staff has been a chronic issue in our health facilities.
While doctors demand immediate mass recruitment, it’s crucial to consider the financial implications and the quality of healthcare provision.
Government and health institutions should consider a phased approach to recruitment, prioritizing critical areas and gradually expanding as budget allocations allow.
Furthermore, the 200 per cent increase in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure is not an unrealistic demand given the current economic climate and the significance of the doctors’ roles.
Those in power should reconsider the current salary structure, acknowledging the essential services these professionals provide.
Our health system is a complex problem that requires a comprehensive solution.
We urge those in power to engage in meaningful dialogue with the doctors, employ an empathetic understanding of their plight, and negotiate a solution to prevent further disruption of essential health services.
We encourage our readers to be proactive and engage in this discourse.
Please write to your representatives, discuss it on your platforms, and help push for a resolution that benefits all parties. It’s about our health, and our lives depend on it.
Did You Know?
- Nigeria’s doctor-to-patient ratio is approximately 1:2750, far below the World Health Organization’s recommended 1:600.
- Around 2,000 doctors leave Nigeria annually for better working conditions abroad.
- The health budget allocation in Nigeria has hovered between 4-6% over the past decade, well below the 15% agreed in the Abuja Declaration.
Staying informed is critical to engaging with the issues that affect you. Yohaig NG provides knowledge, delivering the latest Naija news 24/7.
Our mission is to ensure you have the facts at your fingertips, so you can form opinions, engage in discourse, and make decisions that impact your life.
Comment below, and let’s keep the conversation going.