FG invites resident doctors over planned strike

The Federal Government has invited members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to a meeting with a view of averting the planned strike scheduled to commence on Thursday, April 1.

The minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who disclosed this through the spokesman of the ministry, Charles Akpan, said the meeting would hold by 3pm on Wednesday, at the ministry’s headquarters, Abuja.

While the government representatives will be led by Ngige, the NARD members are expected to be led by their President, Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi.

”The Honorable Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, will be meeting with Executive of the National Association of Resident Doctors and Representatives of the Federal Government. The meeting is scheduled as follows: Wednesday, 31st March 2021,” the official invitation read.

The Presidency had on Wednesday said the resident doctors who threatened to embark on strike were being attended to by the government before the President Muhammadu Buhari travelled out of the country for medical check-up.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, who stated this when he appeared on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today, also disclosed that the government would also put in place a world-class hospital in Abuja.

“The government has been engaging them (resident doctors) all this while, and I believe that we have a very competent minister of labour, who has enormous experience in the chain. Sen. Ngige is dealing with that,” Shehu said while responding to a question on whether the doctors were being engaged.

Amid the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, resident doctors had threatened to commence indefinite strike if the federal government fails to meet their demands.

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The union is demanding, among other things, payment of all salaries arrears, review of the current hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance especially in state-owned tertiary Institutions.

NARD President had said, “Immediate payment of all salary arrears including March salaries for our members in all Federal and State Tertiary Health Institutions across the country especially ASUTH, IMSUTH and UNIMEDTH.

“Upward review of the current hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance especially in State owned-tertiary Institutions.

“Payment of death in service insurance for all health workers who died as a result of COVID-19 infection or other infectious diseases in the country.”

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