Resident doctors in Nigeria have issued an ultimatum to embark on an indefinite strike if the government failed to address their demands within 14 days, as the country continues to battle the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Sunday told the media that the agreement to embark on the indefinite strike action was reached on Saturday.
Sokomba Aliyu, the association’s national president, said issues affecting the Nigerian healthcare system and welfare of health workers remained their core concerns.
Part of the demands of the NARD from the government included the provision of adequate personnel protective equipment, such as N95 respirators, gloves, and others to all health workers during this pandemic, Aliyu said.
The resident doctors also demanded the prompt payment of their salaries, as well as the immediate recall of their sacked colleagues in central Nigeria. According to the association, 26 resident doctors at the Jos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria’s central Plateau State were illegally disengaged without recourse to the law governing residency training.
The doctors also called on security agencies especially in Lagos, Delta, and Abuja to stop the harassment and assault of doctors while carrying out their legitimate activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NARD president noted the shortage of medical staff, especially resident doctors in most health institutions across the country, and called on the government to quickly address the problem.