The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has provided insight into its decision to suspend the nationwide strike that had been ongoing for 17 days, commencing on July 26, 2023.
On Saturday, Dr. Emeka Orji, the President of NARD, explained that the decision to suspend the strike was influenced by the Federal Government’s significant efforts to address the doctors’ grievances.
Orji noted that following discussions held at the presidential villa and meetings with the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, the government displayed a willingness to meet the doctors’ demands. Consequently, the National Executive Council of NARD decided to halt the strike to prioritize the well-being of the public and the nation.
He elaborated, “As of now, the government has disbursed the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund and has commenced work on the circular for one-for-one replacement. They have requested specific documents from the Chief Medical Directors, and several CMDs have already provided the required documents. Thus, we are hopeful that the implementation of one-for-one replacement of doctors will commence in the upcoming two weeks.”
In line with this development, doctors are directed to resume their duties on Saturday at 8 am. A review of the advancements made will be conducted after a two-week period.
The central issues that had prompted the strike included the immediate disbursement of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund, the prompt release of the circular on one-for-one replacement, the settlement of skipping arrears, an upward adjustment of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure to restore it to its 2014 CONMESS value, settlement of arrears related to the minimum consequential adjustment for omitted doctors, and the reversal of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria’s downgrade of membership certificates, among other concerns.
Dr. Orji had previously conveyed that the release of the circular for the one-for-one replacement of clinical staff and the payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund were the minimum prerequisites for suspending the indefinite strike.
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