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NMA urges Nigerian govt to resolve disagreement with striking doctors


The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has appealed to the Nigerian government to conclude measures to resolve all areas of disagreement with members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

The NMA, in a statement signed by its President, Uche Ojinmah, and obtained by PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday, said the avoidable labour dispute has gone on for far too long to the detriment of the common Nigerian citizen.

The association said it is necessary for the government to quickly conclude measures to resolve all areas of disagreement and “eschew all punitive responses in the interest of industrial harmony.”

“The NMA, as the umbrella body for all doctors in Nigeria, is the mother association to NARD and hence as a matter of policy, must protect/promote her interest,” the statement reads.

“It is our belief that this avoidable labour dispute has gone on for far too long to the detriment of the common Nigerian citizen. We hereby call on our government to quickly conclude measures to resolve all areas of disagreement and eschew all punitive responses in the interest of industrial harmony.”


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NMA also called on NARD to extend a gesture of goodwill towards the government in the interest of suffering patients and fellow citizens.

Doctors strike

The resident doctors embarked on an indefinite industrial action on 26 July following the failure of the Nigerian government to meet their demands.

The doctors are demanding, among other issues, the immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), tangible steps on the “upward review” of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS), and payment of all salary arrears owed its members since 2015.

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The doctors also want the immediate massive recruitment of clinical staff in the hospitals and the abolishment of the bureaucratic limitations to the immediate replacement of doctors and nurses who leave the system.

They also want the immediate review of hazard allowance by all the state governments and private tertiary health institutions where any form of residency training is done.

The resident doctors comprise the bulk of medical personnel in Nigeria’s tertiary hospitals; hence health activities are mostly crippled when they are on strike.

Peaceful Protest

The striking doctors said they would commence a daily peaceful protest from tomorrow, Wednesday, if the federal government fails to meet its demand.

The decision followed the directive by the Nigerian government to the management of federal tertiary hospitals to commence the enforcement of the “no work, no pay” policy against the striking doctors.

This policy means that the doctors who continue to stay away from their duty posts will not receive their regular salaries while the strike lasts.

In a letter dated 1 August, the government instructed the hospitals to implement the ‘no work, no pay’ policy and keep an attendance register for resident doctors willing to continue working despite the strike.

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The striking doctors, however, said the government has no moral justification for its action.

It said rather than make genuine and concerted efforts to resolve the challenges that led to the industrial action; the government has chosen to “demonise” the doctors.

“We, therefore, resolved that it is time the whole world hears our side of the story – 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.”

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