Resident Doctors Begin Work Today After 10-Day Strike

By Chioma Umeha, Nnenna Ekwueme

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) will resume work today after its 10-day-old strike to monitor the level of Federal Government’s compliance with the agreement reached for two weeks.
The two weeks period is to afford the doctors enough time to further discuss with the Federal Government to arrive at final solutions to some contentious issues.
The doctors would, however, resume the strike if the discussion with the government fails.
Confirming this, Dr. Odusote Olumuyiwa, Chairman, Lagos State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), in an interview with INDEPENDENT, said that resident doctors are expected back at work today.
When INDEPENDENT visited Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi-Araba, Lagos, on Thursday, our reporter noticed that activities are beginning to return to normalcy.
A patient who pledged anonymity said some doctors had already began skeletal routine services and receiving case files.
Recall that Dr. John Onyebueze, National President of the association, had announced the suspension of the strike in a statement on Thursday.
 Dr Onyebueze said that the doctors decided to resume work after considering efforts made by government in addressing their demands.
He had therefore directed all doctors to start work today.
His views were contained in a one paragraph statement which was made available to INDEPENDENT.
 “After due consideration of the efforts by government and progress made in addressing the items on the notice of our ultimatum, and strike, as well as implementing the contents of the re-negotiated memorandum of terms of settlement (MTS), NARD resolved to suspend her 10 days strike, and to reassess situation in two weeks at our AGM in Abuja.
“Accordingly, members are to resume work 8:00am, Friday, September 15, 2017,” the statement said.
The government and the doctors had signed a memorandum of terms of settlement which they were supposed to have been reviewed last Friday and suspend the strike after receiving alert for the payment of their salary shortfall.
The doctors however failed to call off their strike in line with terms of settlement signed with the Federal Government, alleging government default in the agreement.
Also speaking, Segun Olaopa, Chairman of NARD, University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan chapter, said “the decision was reached following appeals from the public that the doctors should give the Federal Government more time to meet their demands.”
Olaopa, also said that there will be a review in two weeks time to determine how far the government had gone to honour their agreements.