NARD Called to Return to Negotiation Table

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, has called on the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to return to the negotiation table with the Government.

Mamora noted that the ministry is not pleased with what is going on as the primary responsibility of doctors is to save lives, and “any situation that can result in not completing that task is not welcome anywhere.

“So we will continue to appeal to doctors to come to the negotiating table so that we will continue to keep people alive when they are sick in the hospital”.

Recall that the resident doctors had on August 2 embarked on an indefinite strike over irregularities and owing salaries to housing officers claiming that the Federal Government has been quiet since the beginning of the industrial action.

However, the minister faulted the claims by the striking doctors that it has taken 113 days of being mute from the Federal Government since an agreement was signed, which led to the ongoing industrial action.

He said that “There are so many issues involved, some of these issues are not from the Government’s side, some of these issues have to do with the state and not the Federal Government.

He noted that there is a level to which the Federal Government can get involved, but ‘what the doctors should have done is to appeal to the Federal Government to speak with the state government on their behalf”.

Some of the issues raised include non-payment of Death in Service Insurance to the next of kin of 19 of its members who died from COVID-19 complications, payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance, an upward review of the hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and, especially in state-owned-tertiary institutions.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had on Thursday, while speaking with journalists in Abuja, noted that seven of twelve matters which the resident raised doctors were the responsibility of state governments.

He said rather than embarking on the nationwide strike; the resident doctors should resume work and take up these issues with the state governments.

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