Kwara resident doctors join strike, exempt members treating COVID-19 patient
Resident doctors in Kwara State, under the aegis of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), on Monday, joined their counterparts in the country to commence indefinite strike action over alleged government’s insensitiveness to their demands.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin, on Monday, president of the ARD, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) chapter, Dr Lanre Olosunde, said members attending to coronavirus patients are, however, exempted from the strike, for now, considering patients being managed for COVID-19.
Dr Olosunde assured that COVID-19 patients would not suffer because of the strike action, saying that they would be attended to by medical consultant at the UITH.
“Despite the obvious insensitivity of government to the legitimate demands of doctors who have been sacrificing even their lives at the forefront in the battle against COVID-19, we decided to exempt doctors that are currently attending to patients with COVID-19 at the various treatment centres across the nation.
“We hope that the federal government and state governments of Nigeria will quickly attend to these demands and ensure the necessary improvements in the health sector.
“This will ensure the delivery of quality healthcare to the good citizens of Nigeria by well-motivated and healthy doctors,” he said.
The medical expert, who described the present situation as unfortunate, said that it was due to failure on the part of the government to attend to the plights of ARD.
Olosunde said their demands include access to appropriate personal protective equipment to all health care workers
in all federal and state tertiary health institutions, Universal Domestication and Implementation of MRTA in all Nigerian tertiary hospitals and eradication of pay disparity among doctors of the equal cadre.
Others, he said, are the immediate implementation of the revised hazard allowance and payment of the COVID-19 inducement and failure to capture funding for Medical Residency Training under the personnel for 2021 Appropriation bill among others.
The association appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to the course of Nigerians, saying that he should call relevant agencies to order and fulfil demands of the ARD.
“We appeal to our lovely Nigerian citizens to bear with us and understand this as a battle to save the almost dead health sector,” he said.