In compliance with a directive by the National Association of Resident Doctors, members of the association in Ondo state have embarked on indefinite strike action.
Resident doctors in other states are set to also begin indefinite in various hospitals across the country.
Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) had declared indefinite strike action beginning from Monday (today), August 2, 2021.
The National President of NARD, Dr. Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa announced this on Saturday in Abia State at the end of the union’s National Executive Council meeting.
Uyilawa cited the inability of the Nigerian Government to implement the agreements it entered with the union 113 days after it suspended the previous strike as a reason for the industrial action.
Other reasons for the strike, according to the NARD boss, include poor working environment in public hospitals, irregular payment of doctors salaries and hazard allowances of N5, 000, which was reviewed last in 1991.
The doctors strike action comes on the trail of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the countrya and at a time when President Muhammadu Buhari is in the UK for medical reasons.
SaharaReporters learnt that the strike is effective in general hospitals and the Federal Medical Centre FMC in Owó.
Chairman of NARD in the state, Tope Olatilu, confirmed that the industrial action has been effective across that state.
Olatilu said the doctors will only return to work after the government has implemented the agreements it entered with the union 113 days after it suspended the previous strike as a reason for the industrial action.
President Buhari last Monday travelled to London, United Kingdom to participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025 and see his doctors.
According to Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, the President will also spend some days for an earlier scheduled medical follow-up.
“After the Summit, the President will spend a few days for an earlier scheduled medical check-up. He is due back by second week of August, 2021,” Adesina said.
This came a few days after SaharaReporters exposed how the visit was planned ‘secretly’ to avoid rampage or any "embarrassing protest" against the Nigerian President in London.
“President Buhari is leaving for the UK tomorrow or Saturday for a 4-day programme. The secret trip has not been announced yet to avoid rampage against him in London. Recall how his last trip attracted protests in London,” a presidential source had told SaharaReporters.
Buhari and members of his family routinely travel to the UK for medical treatment amidst the insufficient and poorly equipped hospitals in the oil-rich country.
In March, the Nigerian leader went to the UK for what the Presidency described as a “routine” check-up.
The trip sparked off a controversy as it coincided with the strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).