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NARD to postpone protest, strike end in sight


NARD to postpone protest, strike end in sight

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has decided to postpone its scheduled nationwide protest, which was originally planned for Wednesday, August 9, 2023.

This decision comes following a productive intervention by the Senate.

However, the resident doctors have indicated their potential intention to end their ongoing strike in the near future.

Dr. Emeka Innocent Orji, the National President of NARD, shared this development with the press on Tuesday after a closed-door meeting at the National Assembly in Abuja. The meeting was attended by Senate President Godswill Akpabio and other Principal Officers of the Senate.

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Initially, NARD had announced plans to conduct peaceful protests starting from Wednesday and target locations such as the Federal Ministry of Health, the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, as well as federal and state tertiary health institutions across the country.

The resident doctors had commenced an indefinite strike on July 26, 2023, subsequent to the expiration of a two-week ultimatum they had issued to the government to address their demands.

The doctors’ requests encompass the implementation of the one-for-one replacement policy for healthcare personnel, a halt to the downgrading of membership certificates by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria from the West African Postgraduate Medical and Surgical Colleges, prompt settlement of salary arrears, execution of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, establishment of a new hazard allowance, and the domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act, among other concerns.

Dr. Orji expressed optimism after the meeting with Senate leadership, stating, “Following our discussions, we have high hopes that when we present our deliberations to the NEC, positive outcomes will emerge.

Based on our interaction with the Senate President and the tangible commitment he demonstrated, we are confident that progress will be made within the next 24 hours.” He continued, “Thanks to the Senate President’s intervention, which is highly regarded as he holds the position of the third-ranking official, we have decided to cancel our planned national protest. The decision regarding our ongoing strike will be determined once we convene.”

Akpabio extended gratitude to the medical practitioners for their decision to call off the planned nationwide protest and their efforts towards potentially ending the strike.

Acknowledging their demands, Akpabio assured, “We have taken note of your requests. I want to reassure you that once a Health Minister is appointed, the Senate will collaborate with the appointee to swiftly address all your grievances.”

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