By Haruna Gimba
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has assured Nigerians that there would be no industrial strike after the 21-day ultimatum issued by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
NARD had on Monday gave Federal Government 21-day ultimatum to address some urgent demands or risk industrial strike in hospitals across the country.
The group is worried that the residency training programme is still not funded and without guiding policies. The doctors are particularly concerned about the alleged sack of its members from some institutions, Health Reporters gathered.
They also alleged also that some of their members in some state-owned hospitals had not been paid salaries ranging from three to eight months.
The minister, who spoke to newsmen on the sidelines of the presentation of ‘NAFDAC Guidelines 2016’, however insisted that there would be no strike after the ultimatum.
Our correspondent reports that the minister was not definite on actions to be taken to avert the situation, but assured that when the doctors present their grievances to him he would act accordingly.
He said: “I am not aware of the planned strike yet. When I get to know, I will address it. You know I am a former member as well as General Secretary of NARD. So, I can handle my people. Leave us to
handle that. I assure you that there will be no strike.”
Meanwhile, the minister has gave his nod for use of herbal medicines, and urged the Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, (NIPRD), and National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), to step up efforts to encourage herbal medicine practitioners.
He tasked NAFDAC to work with Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Universities of Ibadan and Jos, to enhance research into local production of drugs.