The three-week-old strike embarked upon by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) assumed a new dimension on Saturday with threats by three other associations of medical doctors to join them if pending issues are not resolved before September 18.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) and the Medical and Dental Doctors in Academics (MEDSABAM) unanimously agreed to join their counterparts in NARD if the Federal Government fails to resolve all the pending issues.
The threats coincided with calls by the Forum of Chairmen of Health Institutions in Nigeria (FCHIN) for quick resolution of the ongoing strike by resident doctors.
At a just concluded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the NMA, the various medical bodies agreed to send a letter to the Federal Government to register their displeasure and give it a 21-day ultimatum, which will lapse on September 18, 2021.
The NEC frowned at the instruction for immediate implementation of the “No Work, No Pay” rule issued by the Federal Ministry of Health to the Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of Federal Tertiary Institutions.
The rule applies to all resident doctors and other medical professionals who have failed to report to work since August 2.
It will be recalled that MDCAN had on August 15 resolved to shelve its planned strike while it gave the Federal Government a four-week grace to reverse the removal of the Consultants from the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) to the Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure (CONUASS) by their employing universities.
MEDSABAM had also given the federal government a four-week ultimatum to resolve its issues.
Speaking with The Nation correspondent in Abuja yesterday, the Chairman of Communication and Communique of the NARD, Dr Julian Ojebo, said: “The National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) held from Wednesday till the early hours of this morning (yesterday).
“The crux of the matter was the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors’ strike, and the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with the NMA.