Ilorin----------- The Association of Nigetian Resident Doctors, ARD, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, UITH, chapter, Monday commenced an indefinite strike to back up their demands for improved conditions of service.
The Chairman of the association, Dr Lanre Olosunde who spoke in Ilorin said however, that members attending to COVID-19 patients were exempted from the strike, for now, in consideration of the plight of the patients.
Olosunde stressed that this had become necessary so that patients would not suffer, as they would be attended to by the consultants at the UITH.
According to him, this was in the spirit of solidarity with Nigerians, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic, in spite of the insensitivity of government to the legitimate demands of doctors, who, he said, had been sacrificing their lives in the fight against COVID-19.
His words, “We decided to exempt doctors who are currently attending to patients with COVID-19 at the various treatment centres across the nation.
“We hope that the federal and state governments will quickly attend to these demands and ensure necessary improvements in the health sector.
“This will ensure the delivery of quality healthcare to the citizens of Nigeria by well-motivated and healthy doctors.”
Olosunde further attributed the strike, which he said, had become inevitable, to the refusal of government to attend to the plights of the resident doctors.
He said their demands include access to appropriate personal protective equipment by healthcare workers in all the federal and state tertiary health institutions as well as the universal domestication and implementation of MRTA in all tertiary hospitals in the country and eradication of pay disparity among doctors of equal cadre.
He also listed immediate implementation of the revised hazard allowance and payment of the COVID-19 inducement and failure of government to capture funding for Medical Residency Training in 2020 budget as part of other demands.
He stressed that the association was grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to the course of Nigerians and appealed to him to call relevant agencies to order and fulfill the demands of the ARD.
“We appeal to Nigerians to bear with us and understand this as a battle to save the almost dead health sector,” he added.