- Nigerian resident doctors are officially on strike following the federal government's failure to heed their demands
- Representatives of the doctors have been meeting with federal government officials but the meeting seems not to have made any headway
- The strike is coming at a time the country's president, Muhammadu Buhari, is away on a foreign medical trip
Members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Thursday, April 1 commenced a nationwide strike.
According to the association, Nigeria loses over N576 billion ($1.2billion) yearly to medical tourism lamenting that Nigeria has no three-star government-owned tertiary health institution.
On her part, a former vice president of the association, Dr Julian Ojebo, said none of the demands made nine months ago have been met by the federal government.
Experts say the government has a history of not respecting contracts and honouring agreements it entered into.
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The Voice of Nigeria is, however, reporting that the federal government and NARD have signed an agreement to avert the indefinite strike.
The agreement was, however, before the latest decision by the doctors to embark on strike, despite the last-minute efforts by government officials to convince them otherwise.
Some Nigerians have been reacting to the news on social media.
Comrade Shedrack Fubara wrote on Twitter:
“Nigeria Resident Doctors proceed on a nationwide strike while Buhari the president who vowed not to seek medical treatment abroad is away in the UK as a medical tourist. Citizens are left to suffer their fate. Nigeria on the brink, everything is falling apart.”
Samuel Taiwo wrote:
“Nigerian resident doctors commence strike while the Nigerian president travels to seek medical attention. Where did we actually get it wrong???”
Nwoye Raphael wrote:
“Nigeria resident doctors have embarked on a strike then our president is in the UK for medical treatment. And Nigerians are calm as if it's really nothing.”
Andrew Alola wrote:
“Resident doctors in Nigeria resume strike today as Buhari is on a two-week medical break in a foreign nation. WHAT A DRAMATIC COUNTRY!!!”
Francis David wrote:
“Resident Doctors in all Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centres in Nigeria are commencing a total indefinite strike today over poor welfare of doctors. If you have an emergency, please take your patient to a private hospital or general hospital. Don't waste your time.”
Adebimpe Laide wrote:
“Nigerian resident doctors are paid N5000 hazard allowance while the House of Representatives members are paid N1.2million hardship allowance. Can Nigerian politicians just be patriotic for once?”
Earlier this week, NARD warned of the impending strike, citing the government's refusal to heed some of the association's demands.
NARD President, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi made the position of the association known in a statement sent to journalists.
The strike by the doctors is coming days after President Muhammadu Buhari embarked on a medical trip to London.
A statement by the presidency noted that Buhari is due back in the country during the second week of April 2021.