Doctors under the auspices of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH) and Federal Medical Center (FMC) Makurdi have joined their colleagues across the country in a warning strike.
NARD had announced commencement of seven days warning strike earlier in the week to press home its demands, calling on the Federal Government to make “ immediate payment of the outstanding salary arrears percentages or shortfalls to certain medical centers,
“Forthwith stop all attempts to remove relativity between the salary of doctors and other health workers as well stop all moves to revert/reverse skipping for doctors,
“Release white papers on residency training programme including payment of full salary and pension deduction cum remittance”, among others.
However, barely 24 hours after the announced commencement, the Federal Government in a circular with Ref. No. DHS/828/T/199 dated January 19, 2017 directed that Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) and Medical Directors (MDs) of Federal Tertiary Hospitals employ new doctors to replace Resident Doctors who are not on their duty posts.
In a move to intervene, the NMA President, Prof Mike Ogirima in a statement urged the federal government to withdraw the circular for the sake of industrial peace while urging the federal government to “urgently and decisively deal with the saboteurs of government policies within the Federal Ministry of Health.”