The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), comprising resident doctors from across the country, has taken the decision to suspend the indefinite strike they embarked upon since July 26.
The National President of NARD Innocent Orji, who confirmed the development on Friday said the decision to suspend the strike came with a commitment to review progress in two weeks.
“We just suspended the strike. Work will resume by 8 a.m. tomorrow (today). We will review the progress made in two weeks,” Orji stated.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports that the suspension of the strike follows a series of interventions from various stakeholders urging the association to either reconsider their industrial action or end it sooner.
One such intervention came from the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, during a meeting between the House’s leadership and NARD in Abuja on July 24.
Abbas appealed to the resident doctors to halt the strike in light of the fact that a new administration had recently assumed office and was still settling in.
In addition to the strike, NARD had also planned to stage protests and picket tertiary health institutions and the Federal Ministry of Health.
However, these protest plans were suspended following interventions from the Presidency and the Senate President.
NARD’s decision to strike had been driven by a range of demands that they deemed crucial to their profession and the healthcare system in Nigeria.
Among these demands were the immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), the release of the circular on one-for-one replacement, payment of skipping arrears, and an upward review of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) to restore it to its 2014 value.
In addition, the association advocated for the payment of arrears related to the consequential adjustment of minimum wage for omitted doctors and also sought the reversal of the downgrading of membership certificates by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).
NARD is also demanding new hazard allowances, implementation of corrected CONMESS in state tertiary health institutions, and the payment of omitted hazard allowance arrears.