National Association Resident Doctors Association Halts Nationwide Strike, Resumes Work

National Association Resident Doctors Association Halts Nationwide Strike, Resumes Work

In a significant recent development, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has halted its five-day nationwide warning strike, which had been instituted across public health facilities throughout the country. The termination of the strike was announced yesterday and signals the resumption of services in all federal and state Teaching Hospitals, along with other hospitals where resident doctors receive training.

This significant news was conveyed by the National President of the association, Dr. Emeka Orji. Speaking to Vanguard, Dr. Orji confirmed that all operations would return to normal starting 8 a.m. today. With an air of optimism, he also remarked that the progress achieved thus far would be closely monitored and reviewed in the forthcoming general meeting slated for June 2, 2023. At this critical gathering, the association’s members would collectively decide on their next course of action.

The cessation of this action comes as a relief, considering the strike was initiated by doctors under the auspices of the National Association of Resident Doctors last week Wednesday. The strike had been in response to several urgent demands the association had been advocating for, thus paralyzing public health facilities across the federation.

Key demands outlined by the association were manifold. Firstly, the doctors called for the immediate, large-scale recruitment of clinical staff in the hospitals to address the acute manpower shortage. Closely tied to this was the demand for the abolishment of bureaucratic limitations that hindered the immediate replacement of doctors and nurses exiting the system. This was a critical factor as the quick, efficient replacement of departing medical personnel is essential for maintaining service continuity and quality of care.

Secondly, the resident doctors vehemently demanded immediate infrastructural development in public hospitals. An aligned request was to allocate at least 15 percent of the national budget toward health as mandated by the Abuja Declaration of 2001. This financial commitment would undeniably help modernize hospital facilities and potentially improve service delivery.

The third key demand was for an immediate increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS). The doctors demanded that it should be increased by 200 percent of their gross salary, highlighting the fact that their current compensation did not adequately reflect the intensity and importance of their work.

In summary, the suspension of the strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors is a promising step towards restoring normal healthcare services across the nation. It also opens a critical dialogue regarding the changes needed in the health sector, and how best to implement them. As we await the association’s next general meeting, we hope the issues will be promptly and efficiently addressed.

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