The National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD held a meeting with a negotiation team put together by the Federal Government in order to find a common ground that would lead to the suspension of the strike that was embarked upon by the resident doctors on Monday.
The meeting which was convened by the honorable minister of Labour and Employment; Senator Chris Ngige started around 2:30 pm on Wednesday and was not concluded till well after midnight. Sen. Ngige made several promises and encouraged the doctors to return to work as he ensured them that the government was working very hard towards paying them the salaries due as soon as possible.
However, the leadership of NARD that were at the meeting insisted that the members of the union will only return to work if they received the bank alerts of their salaries on or before Friday. They stated categorically that this was the only condition that would lead to the indefinite strike being called off.
Several members of the union that were not allowed into the conference room where the meeting was held expressed their displeasure at the government for trying to persuade them to resume work without paying them first. Some of these doctors called the government untrustworthy and threatened that the leadership of the union would be impeached if they reached an agreement with the Federal Government without receiving bank alerts.
Sen. Ngige pleaded with the doctors and urged them to make this sacrifice in the interest of the country and they should resume work immediately. However the doctors have informed the government that the earliest they can resume is Saturday so that they would have gotten alerts by then.
In Kaduna, the strike has disrupted health services and exposed most of the residents to hardship. the medical institutions such as the National Eye Centre, The National Ear Care Centre and the Federal Neuro-psychiatric Hospital have made emergency arrangements to cater for the needs of the patients that showed up but this has not been easy for the administration of these medical centres.
In the absence of resident doctors, the consultants are there but will not be able to cope due to the volume of patients and activities in the hospital. i am appealing to all the striking doctors and government to resolve all the issues so that they can resume work to save the health sector”, a spokesperson from the National Ear Care Centre said.