Buhari embarks on medical trip to London as residents Doctors begins indefinite strike

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Tuesday embark on a medical trip to London just as doctors under the aegis of the National Association of Resident doctors begin an indefinite strike.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said in a statement titled “President Buhari billed for a routine medical check-up in London” that the President would be leaving the country for London for this purpose.

Adesina said Buhari was expected to return to the country in the second week of April after undergoing “a routine medical check-up.”

According to the statement, “President Muhammadu Buhari proceeds to London, the United Kingdom, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, for a routine medical check-up.

“The President meets with Security Chiefs first in the morning, after which he embarks on the journey.

“He is due back in the country during the second week of April 2021.”

Buhari is embarking on the medical trip at a time members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors have declared their intention to commence a strike on April 1.

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The doctors said their strike would be “a total and indefinite” if the Federal Government refuses to accede to its demands on burning issues affecting residency training, healthcare delivery, and welfare.

The resident doctors, in a document, demanded – “Immediate Payment of all salaries owed to all house officers including March salaries (regardless of quota system) before the end of business on March 31 2021.

“Immediate payment of all salary arrears including March salaries for our members in all Federal (GIFMIS platform) and State Tertiary Health Institutions across the country especially ASUTH, IMSUTH and UNIMEDTH.

“Upward review of the current hazard allowance to 50% of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID – 19 inducement allowance especially in State owned-tertiary Institutions.

“Abolishment of the exorbitant bench fees being paid by our members on outside postings in all Training Institutions across the country with immediate effect.

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“Payment of Salary shortfalls of 2014, 2015 and 2016 to our members in all Federal Institutions including state owned institutions as earlier agreed with NARD.

“Payment of death in service insurance for all health workers who died as a result of COVID-19 infection or other infectious diseases in the country.

“Universal domestication/implementation of the 2017 MRTA by all Federal Government and State-owned Training Institutions to ensure proper funding of Residency Training in the country as stipulated by the Act.

“Immediate payment of 2019, the balance of 2020 and 2021 Medical Residency Training Funds to our members including those under state government employ.

“Immediate implementation of September 2017 Memorandum of Terms of Settlement between NARD and the Federal Government of Nigeria in order to bring lasting peace to the health sector and curb the ongoing ugly trend of brain drain from the health sector.

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“Immediate review of the Act regulating Postgraduate Medical Training in Nigeria in line with International Best Practices to remove the unnecessary rigors in Residency Training in Nigeria, one of the factors attributed to brain drain in the health sector.

“Immediate commencement of employment into all Government- owned hospitals to improve service delivery to Nigerians, enhance Residency Training and curb the attendant brain drain in the health sector.”

“We also demanded the reintroduction of medical super salary structure and specialist allowance for all Doctors as already approved for some other health workers. This will go a long way in ensuring peace in the health sector.

“The NEC unanimously demanded the sack of the Registrar of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria for failure to demonstrate competence in the handling of the central placement of house officers. This will give room for smooth implementation of the central placement of house officers without further delays.”

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