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Resident doctors may call off strike today

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) may call off its nine-week-old strike today.

The President, Dr. Dare Ishaya, told The Guardian yesterday: “We are aware of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) meeting. We are in communication. Following the development, we have called an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in the next 30 minutes to decide whether or not to call off the strike. It is only the members that can decide.”

The parent body of all medical doctors in Nigeria, the NMA, yesterday, advised the resident doctors to suspend their ongoing industrial action.

The advice was contained in the body’s resolutions after an Emergency Delegates Meeting in Abuja to review the progress of the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and the association.

The gathering, which lasted for about seven hours and was presided by NMA President, Prof. Innocent Ujah, had in attendance members of the National Officers Committee (NOC), past presidents, former secretaries-general, presidents, as well as national officers of affiliates and chairmen of the 36 state branches and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with their delegates.

Other highlights of the resolutions, signed by NMA Secretary-General, Dr. Ekpe Philips Uche, included: a mandate to the NOC to ensure speedy implementation of the MoU signed on August 21 and periodic updating of NEC with a progress report.

Further, Ishaya, who was recently elected as NARD President, outlined how he intends to resolve frequent strikes, especially by his members in the health sector.

He said: “Strike actions are last resort when government fails to honour agreements after repeated negotiations. At our end, this leadership, through robust collaboration, will work to envisage, present and solve challenges well ahead of time. However, if antecedents are anything to go by, the most important solution to incessant strike actions in the health sector will be a show of commitment from the government, especially by increasing funding to the sector and also honouring their promises and agreements with health workers.”

(The Guardian)


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