NARD Strike Grounds Activities at ABUTH, Others in Kaduna

The five-day nationwide warning strike embarked by the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, has grounded activities at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, ABUTH, Zaria, and other hospitals in Kaduna State.

A check by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at ABUTH, National Ear Care Centre and Federal Neuro Psychiatry Kaduna revealed that few medical consultants were providing skeletal medical services.

Mrs Afiniki James, a patient at the Ear Care Center Kaduna, told NAN that she was not attended by doctors at the facility.

She explained that only the consultants were working and they attended to a limited number of patients.

James appealed to stakeholders in the sector to amicably settle the rift between the government and association to reduce the hardship imposed on patients by the strike.

Dr Suleman Adah, President of NARD, ABUTH Chapter, told NAN that the association had complied with the national directives to embark on the strike.

Adah stressed that members of the association had handed over patients to the consultants as they are not involved in the strike.

He however explained that resident doctors constituted the major work force in the facility, as only a limited number of out-patients were attended to.

“The few in-patients that were not discharged, will be attended to by the Consultants at the facility.

“I heard that the management has directed the Consultants to attend to some emergencies, but definitely they cannot work without resident doctors,’’ saidnthenNARD branch leader.

Onnhis part, the Deputy Caucus Leader of NARD for Northwest, Dr Abass Ajayi, reiterated that the compliance was mandatory as it was a directive from the national body of the association.

Ajayi explained that the strike was a complete shut down, as it involved both emergency and clinical operations in the hospitals.

The association had ordered its members to embark on five-day warning strike commencing from May 17.

NARD is demanding an immediate increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure to 200 per cent of the current gross salaries of doctors.

It is also agitating for the withdrawal of the Bill compelling medical and dental graduates to render five-year compulsory services in Nigeria before being granted full licences to practice.

They also want the immediate implementation of CONMESS, domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act, among others.