National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, has called on the Federal Government to address its demands before the May 29 handover to a new administration, saying industrial harmony could not be guaranteed thereafter.
It also sought intervention of the incoming government to avoid an indefinite strike that could cripple the health system.
NARD President, Dr. Emeka Orji, made this known while briefing journalists on outcome of the association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, on Tuesday.
He lamented that a two-week ultimatum earlier given expired without the Federal Government reaching out to the association, with a view to resolving members’ concerns.
He told The Guardian there was push for an indefinite strike during the NEC meeting but the association soft-pedalled in the spirit of patriotism. NARD also reasoned that it would be unfair to have the incoming government take over amid crisis in the health sector.
He said: “We are patriots. In fact, we are going on this strike because we are patriotic. The issues we raised with government are germane. They affect Nigerian doctors and other clinical staff. But they affect Nigerian citizens more because if these issues are not addressed, we are going to have total collapse of the health sector.
“We are talking about brain drain. We are talking about inadequate manpower in our hospitals. Nigerians are witnessing increased waiting period, when they get to hospitals to see their doctors. Some of them spend days before they get attended to because the hospitals that used to have, for instance, 100 doctors, now have 10. How will these 10 doctors do the work of 100?”