Nigerian president Buhari returns to UK for another medical treatment as doctors serve notice of strike
London, March 30, (AltAfrica)-Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari will leave the country on Tuesday for a medical trip in the United Kingdom, the presidency said on Monday.
Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu in a tweet said Buhari will proceed “to London, the United Kingdom, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, for a routine medical check-up.”
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.
The doctors said their strike would be “a total and indefinite” if the Buhari Government refuses to accede to its demands on burning issues affecting residency training, healthcare delivery, and welfare
Before departing Nigeria, Shehu said Buhari will meet with Security Chiefs first in the morning, after which he embarks on the journey.
The presidential spokesman disclosed that Buhari “is due back in the country during the second week of April 2021.”
President Muhammadu Buhari proceeds to London, the United Kingdom, Tuesday March 30, 2021, for a routine medical check-up.— Garba Shehu (@GarShehu) March 29, 2021
No specific date was given for Buhari’s return to Nigeria.
In a document made available to The PUNCH, the doctors 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.
Buhari, 75, spent four months in London in 2017 receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness. Since then, he has faced repeated questions about the real state of his health
Buhari’s incessant medical trips abroad has sparked intense debate among Nigerians on social media. Many argued that funds spent on medical bills abroad could be used to develop the country’s health care system which is in dire straits.
“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.
“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.”