Resident doctors in Nigeria are set to resume work today after a five-day nationwide warning strike. The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has directed its members to return to work, but said it would review the government’s commitment to resolving issues in the next two weeks. The doctors are demanding massive recruitment of clinical staff in hospitals, withdrawal of a bill seeking to compel medical and dental graduates to render five-year compulsory services in Nigeria, infrastructural development in hospitals with a subsequent allocation of at least 15% of the budgetary provisions to health in line with the 2001 Abuja declaration, and other demands.
The demands also include the immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund in line with the agreements reached at the stakeholders’ meeting convened by the Federal Ministry of Health on February 15, 2023, and the immediate increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure to the tune of 200% of the gross salary of doctors in addition to the allowances included in the letter written to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire on July 7, 2022, for the review of CONMESS.
Dr Emeka Orji, the president of the association, said the strike had been suspended with effect from 8a.m. today. The doctors’ demands have been a long-standing issue in the country’s healthcare sector, with the government promising to address them in the past but failing to do so.