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Amid covid-19 pandemic doctors give notice of ‘total and indefinite’ strike

Eight doctors contract COVID-19 in Zamfara

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), the coordinating organisation representing all the medical practitioners in government health facilities, has issued a notice of strike action, which is to commence on Monday, 15th June.

It disclosed that the planned industrial action would similarly involve doctors attending to coronavirus patients and other emergencies in the country.

Aliyu Sokomba, the National President of NARD, said on Sunday in an official letter with reference number NARD/SG/2019-2020/070620/246 that the strike would be total irrespective of the current COVID-19 public health emergency.

He affirmed that the strike had been necessitated by government’s inability to fulfil its vows particularly as regards settlement of salary arrears.

“Consequent upon the 14 days ultimatum duly served the Federal Government for indefinite strike action, in accordance with the resolution of the Ordinary General Meeting of the Association on the 29th of May 2020, we hereby notify you that all resident doctors, medical officers below the rank of Principal Medical Officer (PMO) and House Officers across all the Federal and State hospitals in Nigeria, shall be embarking on a total and indefinite strike action effective 12:01am on Monday, 15th June 2020.

“It is important that you make alternative arrangements for the care of the patients as the strike shall be total and indefinite. No service of any kind, be it emergency, care at COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres shall be exempted. We sympathize with the patients and Nigerian populace,” Sokomba said.

The doctors noted they could no longer put up with government’s neglect, adding that the predicament of those at state health facilities was sometimes more worrisome than that of those at federal institutions.

The threat of the medical practitioners is coming at a time when the coronavirus cases in Nigeria is rapidly rising with 12,486 confirmed in 35 states and the FCT.

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