Strike: Doctors, FG reach agreement to call off strike today

THE Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has reached an agreement with the Federal Government to call off the ongoing strike today, Thursday.

The association is expected to call its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting today.

An agreement signed by both parties after the conciliation meeting held at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, on Wednesday, said: “In view of these understandings, NARD will consult with its executive council within the next 24 hours with a view to calling off the strike by tomorrow, September 10, 2020 [today].

“Nobody will be victimised for any activity connected with or for participating in the industrial action.”

The resident doctors embarked on an indefinite strike in all federal and state

hospitals nationwide on Monday.

The doctors demanded provision of group life insurance for them and other health care workers and payment of death-in-service benefit to next of kin/beneficiaries; universal implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act in all federal and state hospitals; immediate review of the hazard allowance of healthcare workers and payment of the COVID-19 inducement allowance as agreed during the stakeholders’ meeting.

They also asked for the immediate release of funds for medical residency training for 2020 as captured in the revised Appropriation Bill and payment of all outstanding arrears of the consequential adjustment of the National Minimum Wage to its members, and implementation of such in states tertiary health institutions.

At the meeting, the Federal Government team said the government had addressed most of the demands made by NARD, with the remaining two in different stages of being resolved.

At the meeting were the leadership of NARD, the leadership of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), officials of the Federal Ministries of Health; Finance, Budget and National Planning; the Office of Accountant-General of the Federation; the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Federal Government had directed the chief medical directors (CMDs) and medical directors (MDs) of all the federal tertiary hospitals to engage the services of consultants, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) doctors and bring in locum staff to maintain routine services.

This was part of the measures put in place to mitigate the effect of the strike on the generality of the populace; even as the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, described the strike as ill-timed and ill-advised.

 

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