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Doctors begin nationwide strike

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… Health workers to join Sept 13

NIGERIAN doctors under the auspices of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) in state-run hospitals began an indefinite strike today to press for pay rise, better welfare and adequate facilities.

The industrial action by NARD is the latest in a string of stoppages by doctors in Nigeria.

  NARD president Aliyu Sokomba told newsmen that medics kicked off the strike with those treating virus cases set to join the action.

  According to him, there will be no exemptions.

  “Long-standing issues such as provision of life insurance, a pay rise, payment of salary arrears as well as provision of adequate facilities for doctors were the reasons for the strike. We have arrears of 2014, 2015, 2016, salary shortfalls that were supposed to have been paid over six years ago, still pending. These are the issues we have and they appear not to have been addressed up till this day. It is an indefinite strike,” Sokomba said.

Meanwhile, health workers today threatened to commence a warning strike on September 13 if the Federal Government failed to address their demands.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, the Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Health Care Professionals (JOHESU) said that their commitment to resolve issues through dialogue have been taken for granted.

Speaking on behalf of the unions, National Chairman of JOHESU, Bio Josiah, urged the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo to take over the negotiations between them and the FG from the substantive Minister Senator Chris Ngige, who he accused of compromise.

Among other demands, the union insisted on the immediate payment of the shortfall in the COVID-19 allowances of non-clinical staff in the federal health institutions presently pegged at 10 per cent to the agreed 50 per cent of basic salaries paid to all clinical staff in the FHIs.

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