By Chioma Obinna
The National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, has to suspend its week-long strike.
The doctors had Monday, June 15, embarked on strike following some disagreements regarding hazard allowance and safety of health workers in the front line against COVID-19, among others.
A communiqué issued at the end of NARD’s National Executive Council, NEC’s virtual extra-ordinary meeting, jointly signed by the President, Aliyu Sokomba, Publicity Social Secretary, Dr Egbogu Stanley and the Secretary-General, Bilqis Muhammad, confirmed that after the meeting majority of the members voted against the continuation of the strike.
Forty-seven of the members voted in favour of the suspension of the strike, while 28 said it should continue.
The NEC, however, resolved to suspend the ongoing indefinite strike with effect from Monday, June 22 by 8a.m., prompt.
They claimed that the decision to suspend the strike was taken in order to give the federal and state governments time to fulfill the outstanding demands following an appeal by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chairman Nigeria Governors Forum and other stakeholders.
Acknowledging the provision of Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, to some hospitals and other demands, they agreed that the NEC would continue to dialogue with the government on other issues.
Some of the demands met by the government, according to the communique, include the inclusion of the medical residency training funding in the revised 2020 budget through the intervention of the Speaker, House of Representatives and will be implemented as soon as the budget is assented to by the President.
Others are: “The Secretary to the Government of the federation promised to intervene in the Salary shortfall for 2014 to 2016.
“Government pledged commitment to procure group life insurance for health workers.
“The disengaged resident doctors at Jos University Teaching Hospital have been reinstated, and the Chief Medical Director has been directed to pay their withheld salaries and comply with the provisions of the Medical Residency Training act.”
On the State Tertiary Health Institutions (STHIs), they disclosed that the Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the Forum’s DG, Mr. Asishana Okauru, appealed to be given time to discuss with other state Governors of Kogi Gombe, Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Kaduna, Anambra, Nassarawa, Enugu, Abia and Imo for immediate pay parity as with the corrected CONMESS of 2019 and that salary shortfall due to our members will be paid shortly.
According to the communique, “NARD also met Engr Seyi Makinde, Governor of Oyo State, who also gave his words to favourably look into all challenges of our members in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital Ogbomoso, with a view to abiding by the international standard.
“That the executive governors of Delta and Benue states from reports by our members have been supportive although more needs to be done.”
The NEC further observed that COVID-19 inducement allowance has only been paid to 11 federal health institutions.