Resident doctors suspend strike, give FG four-week ultimatum

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has announced the suspension of its strike which started on the 1st of April, 2021.

Speaking with The Nation on Saturday, the President of the NARD, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, said that the association decided to suspend its strike after receiving some good comebacks from their negotiations with the government. It however gave the government an ultimatum of four weeks to meet its sundry demands.

He said, “The strike has been suspended. The government gave us some good comebacks from our negotiations. We had an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting an hour ago, and we decided to suspend the strike for four weeks.”

Signs that the doctors will call off their strikes first emerged yesterday when the federal government set up a committee to smoothen out the payment of resident doctors by removing the irregularities encountered in the process.

The committee is part of ongoing efforts to resolve the payment dispute between the government and National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), which led to the ongoing industrial action by the association.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, disclosed this at the end of a meeting between the representatives of the federal government and NARD which is an addendum to the Memorandum of Action reached between the parties on 31st March.

According to Ngige, the meeting agreed to set up the committee after noting that “the payment of House Officers’ salaries experienced some irregularities as double payments were made to some officers in some centres, while a few have not been paid as of date.”

Ngige said the five-man committee was given 72 hours from Saturday, 10th April to produce a valid list of names of House Officers to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), through the Federal Ministry of Health.

The committee members were drawn from the Federal Ministry of Health, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), IPPIS, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), NARD, Committee of Chief Medical Directors (CCMDs).

He hoped that with this and other understandings reached, NARD would give “this conciliation process a chance for industrial peace by calling off the strike which commenced on 1st April 2021.”

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