NARD Cancels Protest, to Call Off strike, after Meeting Senate President

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) cancelled its nationwide protest scheduled to hold on the 9th of August, while hinting that the 16-day old indefinite strike may be called off soon. The NARD had embarked on the strike on the 25th of July after a two week ultimatum to the Federal government elapsed. The Association demanded the immediate release of the circular on one-for-one replacement of exited clinical staff in hospitals, immediate payment of the 2023 medical residency training fund, commencement of payment of all salary arrears owed to members as well as upward review of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS).

The protest was cancelled after the Senate President, Senator Goodswill Akpabio had met with the leadership of the NARD, assuring them that the Senate would work with the Minister of Health as soon as appointed to address their grievances. He also mentioned that the Tinubu-led administration was a doctor -friendly one as evidenced by the number of medical practitioners that had been appointed into the Cabinet.

The NARD president while addressing reporters after the meeting said, “Because of the intervention of the President of the Senate who is the number three citizen, our planned protest has been cancelled, while the decision on the ongoing strike will be taken as soon as we meet.”

The Nigerian Medical Association had on the same day called for a speedy resolution of the conflict between the NARD and the Federal government.

Meanwhile, Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River state had pleaded with the state branch of the NMA who were protesting the kidnap of Professor Ekanem Philip-Ephraim. The state branch had vowed not to return to work until the Professor who was kidnapped three weeks ago is released.

Aisha Ibrahim

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