By our reporter| Members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Monday warned they will be forced to resume their strike action if the government fails to honour its agreement in the next four weeks.
President of NARD, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, who gave the warning on behalf of his colleagues when he featured as a guest on Sunrise Daily, said they have taken a leap of faith to believe in the system.
He said, “We have been given a leap of faith to believe in the system and we hope and pray that the system does not fail us.”
“If it fails us, we don’t have a choice but to call a meeting in the next four weeks, which is the timeline for this strike that we suspended.
“If our demands are not met in four weeks’ time, I think it will go back to us going on indefinite strike again.”
The resident doctor’s union had embarked on strike on April 1, but it was suspended after 10 days following a meeting with the government on Saturday.
According to Dr. Okhuaihesuyi, significant progress has been made hence the decision to suspend the strike.
“We have gained something significant, but it may not be enough to end the strike because as we speak, there is a meeting that is going to hold concerning the N5,000 hazard allowance today, and with other health workers on Wednesday, he said.
“For the members, we lost to COVID-19 (17 members were lost), we have been able to reach an agreement that the doctors and health workers involved should be able to make claims so that they can benefit from the group insurance.”
On the demand for the house officers’ payment, the NARD president noted that they have achieved at least about 75 – 80 per cent progress.
He confirmed that about 239 house officers have been paid as of Monday morning, but there were some irregularities with the payment.
“If we didn’t go on this strike, we will not be able to achieve the proposed review of hazard allowance; if we didn’t go on this strike, we won’t be able to have them to tell us that we should go and make a supplementary budget for those that have not been paid Medical Resident Training fund,” said Dr. Okhuaihesuyi.