FG Doesn’t Negotiate Until We Go On Strike – Resident Doctor - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

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Monday, 2 August 2021

FG Doesn’t Negotiate Until We Go On Strike – Resident Doctor

By Our Correspondent



The President of the Association of Resident Doctors at the National Hospital in Abuja on Monday said the Federal Government barely negotiates with health workers until an industrial action is introduced.

Dr. Akanimo Ebong, who is also the Senior Registrar at the National Hospital’s Department Of Obstetrics And Gynaecology, made the remark while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) had resumed its industrial action on Monday over unpaid salaries and benefits.

The doctors are also demanding the immediate withdrawal of a circular removing House Officers from the scheme of service.

They had embarked on an earlier strike in April, leaving many patients unattended across government-owned hospitals in the country.

The strike was suspended 10 days later after they met with Federal Government representatives.

But very little progress has been made since then, Dr. Ebong said.

“Usually there is no negotiation done, until we go on a strike,” he said.

“We have resumed our strike today. We never called it off, we only suspended it to give time for negotiations.

“But since we called off the strike on April 10, barely nothing has been done.

“When we are back at it, you know we’ve given a lot of time; we’ve tried to negotiate, we’ve tried to make the system work. But unfortunately, we are here again.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Medical Center, (FMC), Abeokuta has began discharging patients on admission at its facility.

The development became expedient as a result of the ongoing strike action by members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) in the country.

The National President of NARD Dr. Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa had on Saturday, announced the strike action at its National Executive Council meeting in Abia.
He cited the inability of the Federal Government to implement the agreements it entered with the union 113 days after it suspended the previous strike as a reason for the industrial action.

SalientTimes who visited the hospital reports that normal activities were reduced as patients were turned back.

The few consultant physicians that were on duty could not fill in for the jobs of the resident doctors as their capacity is restricted.

A nurse who spoke with SalientTimes said that patients who were on admission were asked to pay their bills and go home or seek care elsewhere.

Some of the patients who were visibly disappointed expressed regret at the situation of health in the country.

They begged the Federal Government to expedite actions on finding a lasting solution to perennial strike actions by doctors all the time.

The NARD Chairman in FMC, Dr Busuyi Adebiyi told Our Correspondent that it was a directive from the national association hence all affiliates must join in the strike.

He noted that until a counter directive is received, the strike action goes on.

"It's a nationwide strike, so all affiliates are expected to join, so doctors at the Federal Medical Center are not working," he said.