A disruption of health delivery services in this period of Covid-19 pandemic, with its attendant unpalatable consequences if not forestalled, is imminent by Resident Doctors of Federal Medical facilities, nationwide.
Dr Felix Onuh, President of Association of Residents Doctors, Federal Medical Centre Umuahia (FMC) Umuahia, disclosed this in an interview granted the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on Wednesday.
He noted that the demands of Nigeria Association of Residents Doctors (NARD) include the unconditional reinstatement of the 26 Resident Doctors sacked by University of Jos Teaching Hospital; immediate payment of salaries of shortfalls owed doctors since 2014 and payment of hazard allowance to all health workers covering March, April and May 2020 with the agreed formula.
Other concerns are removal of existing disparity in the remuneration of doctors on the same level working for state and federal government; immediate payment of backlog of salaries owed doctors in state teaching hospitals, especially “the-knee-on-the-neck” situation in Abia State University Teaching Hospital Aba; immediate provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers and equipping of all isolation centres across the federation.
Bearing in mind that “a healthy nation is a wealthy nation”, Dr. Onuh made a heartfelt request to the federal government to accommodate NARD’s demands adding that if the federal government does not see doctors as ” cannon fodders” to Covid-19 pandemic, it should act promptly on their demands.
He called on Federal and State governments to match words with action especially as the nation battles against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. He called on well meaning Nigerians to prevail on the Federal government to do needful to avert the impending industrial action.
Recall that NARD’s ultimatum would end in Sunday, June 14 while the strike would commence on Monday, June 15.