NARD Suspends Strike

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has called its members nationwide to suspend its two monthly old strikes and resume work fully from Wednesday.

The call was made by the President of the association, Dr Dare Ishaya, on Monday while briefing journalists in Abuja.

Members of the association had in a meeting held on Sunday voted in favour of suspending the industrial action, which has left many patients helpless in government-owned hospitals across the country.

Ishaya, however, said the group had suspended the strike for six weeks, leaving room for the Federal Government to address the issues raised by the doctors.

He noted that although most of the issues which led to the nationwide strike are yet to be attended to, the strike was called off due to interventions from the President, the National Assembly, and the leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

A member of the association also confirmed the development during a telephone conversation on Channels Television on Monday. He said that 56 officials voted for the suspension of the industrial action against 28 who wanted to continue with the strike.

Recall that resident doctors had on August 2 embarked on a nationwide strike to send in their demands to the federal government, which include the non-payment of death benefits to families of members who died while treating COVID-19 patients, as well as non-payment of hazard allowance and arrears of salaries of members in various states.

The federal government had also called several meetings with the association, seeking to meet their needs, but the duo is yet to reach an agreement.

Meanwhile, the government had also sued the association at the National Industrial Court in Abuja, where Justice Bashar Alkali presided over the matter, ordering the resident doctors to suspend their industrial action and return to work immediately, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

Justice Alkali has, on September 17, asked both parties to return to the negotiation table, stressing that no amount of money could compensate for the loss of lives as a result of the impasse.

NARD had then asked its lawyers to file necessary processes to appeal the ruling rather than suspending the strike.

It said by such actions; the court had denied it a fair hearing by declining to hear and determine its Notice of Preliminary Objection before taking the government’s application for interlocutory injunction.

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