In the last few years, we could say Nigerian health sector has grown from how it used to be, all thanks to the Nigerian Government which has taken time to listen and negotiate with health experts especially on how to meet some of the basic needs in the sector.
However, Nigerians have witnessed several industrial actions from the health workers especially from the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), FCT Chapter, as a means to press home their demands.
The health workers especially the association of resident doctors have expressed a couple issues in the FCTA administration which contributed to uneasiness and difficulties encountered by the resident doctors in the FCTA while diligently delivering their responsibility which is to care for the human lives.
It is alarming that these issues are not recent ones; they are issues that have lingered for several years despite various negotiation by the workers.
While some of the demands have been met, the health workers are yet to receive the 2018 salary arrears.
An attempt by newsmen to reach the FCTA leadership to ascertain why the 2018 promotion arrears is yet to be paid proved abortive.
Among other issues affecting the Resident Doctors FCTA Chapter is the unpaid Medical residency training fund and marred irregularities on the IPPIS salary platform.
It is quite unfair to the health workers especially the resident doctors who contribute greatly not only in preserving human lives but also to the nation’s economy and development.
Worthy of note is that, at a time when the world is facing a global pandemic, the health workers should be given priority and have their basic demands catered for to enable them serve the country wholeheartedly. But reverse is the case.
Recall how the FCT resident doctors began an indefinite strike over non-payment of salaries, and poor infrastructure in 2020.
In the said year, they issued a 14-day ultimatum to the FCTA management to resolve issues of payment of the balance skipping arrears, payment of 2016, 2017 and 2018 promotion arrears; improvement on the security situation in the hospitals, provision and maintenance of equipment and infrastructure in various hospitals in the FCT.
Also in 2021, the ARD-FCTA issued yet another three weeks ultimatum to the FCT Administration on the 1st of March 2021 to further press home their demands and challenges which have been facing them but nothing has changed.
The past administration of the ARD- FCTA chapter carried out several press conferences, issuance of countless ultimatums, and industrial action, yet the demands of the health workers are yet to be actualised completely.
It is important the demands of the health workers are met as soon as possible to avoid another industrial actions from the health workers.
ARD-FCTA is the FCTA chapter of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, an Association which comprises of all doctors practicing in the 14 district and general hospitals, department of public health and primary health care development board under the federal capital territory administration (FCTA) excluding consultants.