By Asmau Ahmad
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Government in an effort to end the ongoing strike.
NARD commenced a five-day warning strike on May 17 to press home their demands after a 14-day ultimatum.
The doctors are demanding an immediate increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure to the tune of 200 per cent of the current gross salaries of doctors.
The doctors also want immediate massive recruitment of clinical staff in the hospitals, and immediate withdrawal of the bill seeking to compel medical and dental graduates to render five-year compulsory services in Nigeria before being granted full licences to practise; among others.
The doctors on Friday, met with the Senate Committee on Health, the House of Representatives Committee on Health and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, to deliberate on their demands.
According to NARD, its National Executive Council will decide on the timelines set in the content of the MoU.
Speaking with our correspondent on Saturday morning, the NARD President, Dr Emeka Orji said, “We have heard the position of the government, and we have told them the position of NARD and we have discussed. They told us what they can do, and what they cannot do and why they can’t do those things with timelines, and we signed.
“So we will take back what the government offered to the NEC to accept or reject it and give further directives. Part of the MoU is that NARD will call its NEC in the next 48 hours and brief them on the outcome for them to decide.”
The strike, which started on Wednesday, continued on Saturday, with medical services hampered in federal hospitals around the country.
Most of the medical facilities, since the strike commenced are being manned by consultants, with help from other healthcare personnel.