NARD brain drain
The logo for the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

NARD to Commence Nationwide Mass Protest

Striking resident doctors have declared their intention to embark on daily nationwide protest and picketing of federal health institutions.

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), in a notice issued on Saturday, said the protest would commence on Wednesday, August 9 at 10:00am.

The notice was issued after its National Executive Council (E-NEC) virtual meeting on Saturday and addressed to the permanent secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health.

It was signed by the president of the association, Dr Orji Emeka Innocent, and the secretary-general, Dr Chikezie Kelechi.

The notice reads in part, “We wish to bring to your notice the decision of the National Executive Council of the NARD to embark on daily peaceful protest 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, August 9, 2023.”

The NARD said the move became necessary to press home their demands which have been largely neglected by the parent ministry and the federal government.

Read Also: UITH Resident Doctors Join NARD Strike

It said, “We are pained that rather than make genuine and concerted efforts to resolve the challenges that led to the industrial action despite repeated ultimatums, our parent ministry and the federal government have chosen to demonise Nigerian resident doctors instead, after all their sacrifices and patriotism.”

The association said it therefore resolved that 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 the public health institutions have suffered all these years that led to repeated industrial actions.

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 of 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.

Some of the demands for which the association went on strike are: immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), implementation of a minimum of 200 per cent increment in Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS), and the upward review of associated allowances, payment of outstanding arrears of consequential adjustment, hazard allowance and skipping allowance and the immediate release and implementation of the guidelines on onefor-one replacement of clinical staff.

Others are the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to discontinue the downgrading of the membership certificate issued by the West African Postgraduate Medical and Surgical Colleges and payment of salary arrears, implementation of CONMESS and new hazard allowance and domestication of MRTA, as well as payment of MRTF to members in state tertiary health Institutions.