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Resident doctors down tools over 10 months salary arrears

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Residents doctors in federal teaching hospitals, Monday embarked on an indefinite strike over the non payment of 10 months salaries of some of their members.

The strike action was called by the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD.

Confirming the development, the President of NARD, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile Ife, Dr. Wole Ayegbusi, said the strike started on Monday morning.

Ayegbusi said: ” We have started an indefinite strike this morning to drive home our demands. The most saddening part of it is that our members in the state teaching hospitals have not been paid for 10 months‎ and these are some of the members that are rendering essential services. We need to realise that, we cannot be comparing doctors to other civil servants because if they(civil servants) fall sick and doctors are not well paid, they will never be well attended to.

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“You will be surprised that today, some federal teaching hospitals have not paid December salaries, which is unfair because it affects our productivity. Also some of our members have been sacked for an unjust cause and several times we have made efforts to dialogue with the Federal Ministry of Health but maybe due to their selfish reason or incompetence, we have not been able to actualise that. Most of the community people are poor and they cannot travel abroad to get treatment.”

According to him, it was regrettable that government could ignore the payment of some doctors who were on essential duties for as long as 10 months and expect them to be attending to patients, adding that NARD had to painfully resort to the strike because it appeared the option was the only one the government listened to.

He further stated that the association gave the Federal Government ultimatum but had to embark on the indefinite strike because nothing had been done on all the issues raised with them.

“We want this strike to end as soon as possible because it is an avoidable one. I can see no reason why the Federal Government cannot answer our prayers. When President Muhammadu Buhari came to office, he promised to fulfill all the agreements we have had with the government before he assumed office but nothing was done even after the ultimatum we gave,” he added.

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