Resident doctors agree to call off strike

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The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has agreed to call off the ongoing strike today in a sitting with government officials and representatives.

The association will therefore call its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting today to discuss the matter.

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 September 10, 2020.

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

The resident doctors had embarked on a nationwide indefinite strike across hospitals on Monday.

The Ravens earlier reported that the strike was due to welfare issues of the resident doctors and the inability of the government to redeem its promises.

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.

The Federal Government representatives said the government had addressed most of the demands made by the striking doctors, noting however that two demands are still in different stages of being resolved.

The meeting was witnessed by 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.

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