Members of The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors have resumed work after calling off their 64-day nationwide strike. According to Channels TV, the Chief Medical Director of the Lagos State University (LASUTH), Professor Adetokunbo Fabamwo, reported that patients in various departments and clinical areas were being attended to.
Meanwhile, the NARD President at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH-ARD), Dr Hassan Oluwafemi, stated that in the near future, the members of the union will no longer be forced to embark on a reoccurring strike. He also explained that the resumption was as a result of the directive which the association’s national leadership gave that the doctors should go back to their duty posts.
On August 2nd, resident doctors commenced the industrial action due to poor treatment of its members and unfavourable working conditions. NARD’s demands demanding, amongst other issues, the payment of COVID-19 treatment allowances in the absence of death-in-service insurance, having lost over a dozen of its members to the pandemic, while also protesting the shortage of manpower in public hospitals.
There have been efforts to put an end to the strike. On September 21st, 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. However, NARD responded to the ruling through a statement. The statement appealed the court’s ruling and would be ruling and filing for “stay of execution.”
But, in the latest health news, the president of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, Dr Godiya Ishaya revealed during an interview with a news correspondent that they have suspended the strike. During the interview, he stated that:
“All our chapters have resumed today (today); we are not giving a timeline to the Federal Government to attend to our demands. In six weeks’ time, we will review the progress of our engagement with them; the engagement is a continuous process. We are meeting with the Ministry of Labour and Employment today (Tuesday) to sort out the issue of the case at the Industrial Court and the ‘no work, no pay order’ issued by the Minister, Dr Chris Ngige.”
In Abuja, the residents have resumed work. Kayode Olomofe, the spokesperson for the Federal Medical Center confirmed that the resident doctors have come back to work
“They all resumed today. I don’t have a number currently but the majority of them resumed today,” he said.
Also, Channels reports that Micheal Atiga, the spokesperson of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, confirmed that the resident doctors have also resumed work. In Ogun State, normal medical and health care services returned on Wednesday at the Federal Medical Centre Idi-Aba Abeokuta.