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Striking doctors list conditions to suspend strike

Resident doctors have listed conditions to suspend their strike.The strike, which began on July 26, has caused disruptions in healthcare services across the country

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) which has been at the forefront of this strike, listed the release of the circular for one-for-one replacement of clinical staff, and the payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund as the least conditions to call off its indefinite strike.

Dr Emeka Orji, the National President of NARD, said this on Wednesday in an interview.

Eventhough the planned nationwide protest was suspended, Orji stated that the association will give the Federal Government 72 hours to meet some of its urgent demands to call off its strike.

According to him, the association will decide to continue or call off the strike by Friday.

Hear him: “We had a fruitful meeting yesterday (Tuesday) at the Villa and with the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, so it will not be good to have that level of meeting and the next day we hit the streets to protest, it will look as if there is an ulterior motive behind our demands.

“Our demands are germane because there is a shortage of doctors in our hospitals, so the few of us remaining are being overworked. How long are we going to continue like that? They have told us what they will do today (Wednesday), and tomorrow (Thursday), and we are hopeful they will do the needful. If they are able to do those things, then I am sure the National Executive Committee will give us the mandate to suspend the strike because we are very understanding.

“The circular for one-for-one replacement is the first and the 2023 MRTF fund is the second one. If they are able to address them, we will appeal to our members to suspend the strike while we continue to negotiate for all the salary arrears, skipping arrears, and other things.”

He said it shouldn’t be hard for the government to approve the one-for-one replacement without extra spending.

“The government has the list of those who have left and it is a matter of replacing them immediately and the new ones that are recruited are paid the salary you have budgeted to replace those who have left. So, it is not difficult to do. This is a thing that has been agreed to be done since February but nothing has been done about it, but we are hoping the government will do as agreed,” he stated.

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