The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) may call off its strike today. The Guardian Nigeria reports that Dr. Dare Ishaya, the new President of NARD, told them that NARD was aware of the meeting between the Federal Government and the Nigerian Medical Association. He further stated that the union had called for an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting. In the meeting, the members would decide whether they would call off the nine-week strike or not.
Few weeks ago, the National Industrial Court ordered the doctors on strike to call it off and return to work. The court also ordered the Federal Government and the striking doctors to resume negotiations. The order came as a result of an application which the Federal Government filed.
The Federal Government claimed that the doctors commenced the strike without proper notice. The FG sought an order of interlocutory injunction. The purpose of the order is to restrain the striking members from continuing the strike. restraining the striking members from continuing the strike. The Government also sought to justify the “no-work-no-pay” policy raised against the doctors.
However, in recent health news, the NMA has advised NARD to suspend the strike and resume work after an emergency Delegates Meeting in Abuja. The purpose of the meeting was to review the progress regarding the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and the association.
Prof. Innocent Ujah, the NMA president, presided over the meeting. Also present at the meeting were the members of the National Officers Committee (NOC), past presidents, secretary-generals, and other National officials of affiliates. Also present were the chairmen of all 36 state branches and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with their delegates.
The resolution of the meeting was signed by Dr. Ekpe Phillips Uche, the NMA Secretary-General. One of the highlights of the resolution was a mandate to the NOC to ensure that the MOU signed on August 21 was implemented quickly. They also mandated that the NEC be updated with a progress report periodically.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ishaya explained how he would resolve frequent strikes by his members.
“Strike actions are a last resort when the 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.” He stated.