Resident Doctors Suspend Nationwide Industrial Action

National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) straightnews
National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD)

Following an agreement reached with Federal Government, National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended the nationwide industrial action.

Confirming this to Channels Television on Thursday evening, Dr Aliyu Sokumba, the President of NARD stated that the union would review the progress made in talks with the Federal Government in two weeks.

The Federal Government and the doctors reached an agreement on Wednesday to end the industrial action.

During the meeting which almost took the entire day, NARD had stated that it will liaise with the executive council with a view to calling off the strike.

Both parties had been in talks to resolve the issues which led to NARD declaring an end to the country-wide strike.

After the meeting, the Federal said an additional N8.9 billion has been approved to pay up a large chunk of the June 2020 COVID-19 allowance to all health workers across the nation,

This was revealed by Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Ngige stated that the implementation of the payment of the Special Hazard and Inducement Allowance has been concluded, stressing that this has been cash-backed and the mandate sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria for payments to start from September 9.

According to him, this will bring the total disbursement to about N288 billion.

The doctors embarked on the strike to resolve issues bothering on group life insurance for doctors and other health care workers, payment of death-in-service benefit to next of kin/beneficiaries, universal implementation of the medical Residency Training Act in all Federal and state hospitals, immediate review of the hazard allowance of healthcare workers and payment of the COVID-19 inducement allowance.

But the Federal Government noted that eight of the demands made by NARD had been addressed and the remaining two were in different stages of being resolved.

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They agreed that the hospitals and isolation centres now have sufficient Provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

They also agreed that the Federal Government had paid the total sum of N9.3 billion to Insurance Companies for Life Group Insurance and payment of death benefits for health workers.

On the implementation of the payment of the special hazard/inducement allowance, the doctors said they were satisfied that the N20 billion already appropriated in the 2020 COVID-19 Budget has been exhausted to N19 billion and therefore, praised the Federal Government and the President for approving an additional (N8,901,231,773.55) to pay up the large chunk of the June 2020 COVID-19 allowance to all Medical Health Workers.