Residents doctors suspend strike as government meets some demands
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARDs) has suspended its ongoing nationwide strike, which commenced over two weeks ago following the government’s failure to meet the demands of its members.
NARDs President, Dr Emeka Orji, disclosed this to The Guardian, saying that following the intervention of Mr President and the Senate President earlier in the week, some of the demands of the association have been met, while they promised to start working on the remaining ones.
“So we don’t see the need to continue with the strike, we are hoping that they continue the process of resolving the problems that made us to go on the strike in the first place”.
Orji stated that all NARD members are expected to resume work on Saturday by 8 am.
He told The Guardian that the Federal government has approved the payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), while the government is working on the circular on one-for-one replacement.
Orji stated that the circular on one-for-one replacement is very important to the association as it will help in addressing the problem of severe manpower shortages being experienced in the hospitals.
He noted that the National Executive Committee of the association will meet in two weeks to review progress, hoping that the government by then will have made progress in the process they have started regarding the circular.
On July 26, 2023, NARD declared a total and indefinite strike action over the failure of the government to meet the demands of its members.
Major demands of the Association include immediate payment of the 2023 MRTF, immediate release of the circular on one-for-one replacement, payment of skipping arrears, and upward review of CONMESS in line with full salary restoration to the 2014 value of CONMESS.
Others are payment of the arrears of consequential adjustment of minimum to the omitted doctors, reversal of the downgrading of the membership certificate by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria ( MDCN), payment of MRTF, new hazard allowance, skipping and implementation of corrected CONMESS in State Tertiary Health institutions, and payment of omitted hazard allowance arrears.
It would be recalled that the association met during the week with the Legislative arms of government led by the Special Adviser to the President on Health, Dr Dalma Ana’s Ibrahim and the Legislative arm led by the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, during which both arms requested that the striking doctors give them 24 hours to take measure decisions.
Following their interventions, NARDs suspended the mass protest and picketing of government offices earlier scheduled for last Wednesday.
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