Nigerian doctors on strike again over working conditions and pay
Nigerian resident doctors started another strike on Monday over their pay, poor working conditions, and limited resources while Covid-19 infections surge.
Around 16,000 resident doctors in Nigeria, including some working at Covid-19 isolation centers went on strike for the second time this year on Monday in protest of poor working conditions. Medical staff walked out to show their indignation at limited benefits, with the doctors intending to remain on strike this time until their issues are resolved.
Dr. Aliyu Sokomba, President of the National Association of Resident Doctors said “It is an indefinite strike until issues are resolved,” he said. “All resident doctors at the Covid-19 centers have joined the strike".
Resident doctors are medical school graduates, who are training to be specialized and they represent a very important part of the Nigerian health care system as the nearly dominate emergency wards.
Doctors and healthcare workers had previously gone on strike in June to demand the provision of efficient protective equipment as well as life insurance and hazard allowance.
Minister of Labor Chris Ngige called on the doctors to suspend the strike as he said in a statement “All parties are enjoined not to employ arm-twisting methods to intimidate or foist a state of helplessness on the other party”.
His statement clarified that the government has spent more than 52 million dollars between April and June, to provide hazard allowances for healthcare workers adding that most of the doctors' demands have been fulfilled.
Sokomba revealed that his union is set to meet with the minister of labor on Wednesday hoping that their issue would be resolved.
Nigeria has reported a total of 55,160 confirmed coronavirus cases so far and 1,061 deaths.