The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors has outlined two key conditions for ending their ongoing indefinite strike that began on July 26.
These conditions include the issuance of a circular for a one-for-one replacement of clinical staff and the disbursement of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund.
The National President of NARD, Dr. Emeka Orji, conveyed this information in an interview on Wednesday.
Dr. Orji mentioned that although the initially planned nationwide protest has been put on hold, the association has granted the Federal Government a 72-hour window to address some of their pressing concerns and facilitate the strike’s conclusion.
He further explained that a decision regarding the continuation or cessation of the strike will be reached by Friday, August 12.
Originally, the striking doctors had intended to commence a daily peaceful protest starting from Wednesday, August 9, 2023, if the government failed to meet their stipulated demands.
Orji said, “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.”
Orji expressed that the government shouldn’t encounter significant challenges in executing the one-for-one replacement, all without incurring additional costs.