Strike: FG, resident doctors parley ends in deadlock after six hours meeting - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

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Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Strike: FG, resident doctors parley ends in deadlock after six hours meeting

By Our Correspondent



The meeting between the house of representatives committee on health services, federal government and National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), ended without any agreement on Tuesday.

The two-day public hearing, organised by the house committee on health services, started on Monday but ended in a deadlock on Tuesday.

The meeting was attended by Olorunnimbe Mamora, minister of state for health; Emmanuel Meribole, permanent secretary, office of the head of service; Ben Akabueze, director-general of the budget office of the federation; Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, president of NARD, among others.

While addressing officials at the meeting on Tuesday, the NARD president cited experiences of doctors in hospitals across the country, especially as it related to payment of salaries.

“We need to get something right, and getting something right is when we tell ourselves the truth. Why we are still on strike today is because of the ministry of health, mostly — my apologies to the minister of health. I will say it as it is,” he said.

“We have been honoured that the speaker came to see us and invited us four times. This is the second time we are going on a strike in this year. Why are we having these bottlenecks? Because some people are not doing their jobs.”

However, after about six hours of discussions, Tanko Sununu, chairman of the committee, asked the resident doctors to work with the ministry of health to come up with an agreement reached at the meeting.

But Okhuaihesuyi insisted that the meeting has not resolved the issues raised by the resident doctors, adding that no agreement has been reached.

THE STRIKE

The doctors had embarked on a strike on April 1 to protest the failure of the government to fulfil an agreement signed with the union.

NARD later suspended the strike on April 10, following the signing of a new agreement with the federal government, concerning issues raised in a 13-point demand.

However, more than two months after the new agreement was signed, the resident doctors say the federal government has failed to meet most of their demands.

The doctors commenced a fresh nationwide strike on August 2 and have vowed not to call off the strike until the federal government meets all their demands.