The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARDs) has decided to suspend its nationwide strike, which was initiated over two weeks ago due to unmet demands from the government.
NARDs President, Emeka Orji, confirmed this development and stated that progress had been made following interventions by the President and the Senate President earlier in the week.
“We just suspended the strike. Work to resume at 8 am tomorrow. We will review progress made in two weeks,“ Orji said.
“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 go on the strike in the first place,” he said.
The association has directed all NARD members to resume work on Saturday at 8 am.
Key achievements include the approval of the payment for the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) by the Federal government. Additionally, efforts are underway to address the circular on one-for-one replacement, a significant step in alleviating severe manpower shortages experienced in hospitals.
Orji emphasized that the National Executive Committee of NARD will convene in two weeks to evaluate the progress made and to assess the government’s commitment to the ongoing resolution process.
The strike was initiated on July 26, 2023, due to unmet demands, including the immediate payment of the 2023 MRTF, release of the circular on one-for-one replacement, payment of skipping arrears, and an upward review of CONMESS in alignment with the 2014 value.
Other demands encompass payment of omitted hazard allowance arrears, reversal of membership certificate downgrading by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), new hazard allowance, and corrected CONMESS implementation.
Earlier this week, NARD engaged 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 Senate President Senator Godswill Akpabio. Both arms requested a 24-hour period to deliberate and make decisions.
As a result of these interventions, NARD suspended the planned mass protest and picketing of government offices, previously scheduled for the past Wednesday.
(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; email@example.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)