By Adeniyi Adedeji, Ilorin
Members of the Association of Resident Doctors, ARD, of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, UITH, has commenced indefinite strike action.
President of UITH chapter of the ARD, Dr Lanre Olosunde, who made this known in Ilorin, however said that members of the association attending to COVID-19 patients were exempted from the strike for now, adding that this was done in the interest of patients being managed for COVID-19.
Explaining that the considerations became necessary so that patients would not suffer in the face of medical consultants to attend to them in the Teaching Hospital, Olasunde said the industrial action was in the spirit of solidarity with Nigerians, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic season and despite the obvious insensitivity of government to the legitimate demands of doctors, who had been sacrificing their lives at the frontline in the battle against COVID-19.
He said, “We decided to exempt doctors that are currently attending to patients with COVID-19 at the various treatment centers across the nation.
“We hope that the Federal Government and state governments 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 unfortunate situation was due to failure on the part of government to attend to the plights of ARD.
Olosunde said that the demands of the striking doctors included access to appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, PPE for all health care workers in all federal and state tertiary health institutions; Universal Domestication and Implementation of MRTA in all Nigerian tertiary hospitals and the eradication of pay disparity among doctors of equal cadre.
Others, he said, were 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.
He added, “We appeal to our lovely Nigerian citizens to bear with us and understand this as a battle to save the almost dead health sector.”