Nigerian Health Ministry Doubles Doctors Pay to End Strike

Published November 22nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The Nigerian government Wednesday announced a 100 percent increase in doctors' pay in an effort to end a crippling two-month strike. 

Since a call last week to members of the National Association of Resident Doctors to resume work or face "appropriate action", "a number" of doctors have returned to duty, the health ministry said in a statement. 

However, the strike has continued and to break the deadlock the government decided to increase on-call duty allowances for doctors and other health workers, the ministry said. 

The increases would boost the total pay of the least paid doctors from 35,716 naira (297 dollars) to 70,415 naira (586 dollars) a month, the ministry added. 

"Government therefore would view with concern a refusal of resident doctors to go back to work despite the huge increase of about 100 percent," it said. 

The ministry said it had directed heads of government hospitals to submit a list of those who have resumed work to the ministry by Thursday. 

The doctors' strike, which has hit services across the country and reportedly led to hundreds of avoidable deaths, was launched to press for better pay and conditions after the government announced in May a new monthly minimum wage of 5,500 naira. 

Doctors representatives were Wednesday meeting health ministry officials and made were unavailable for comment to waiting reporters. 

Earlier this month, President Olusegun Obasanjo urged the striking doctors to end their action, promising to address their pay demands -- ABUJA (AFP)  

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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