Following the intervention of the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, the National Association of Resident Doctors has agreed to consider the suspension of its ongoing strike action.
The decision to consider the suspension of the strike action by NARD was reached after a protracted meeting, which lasted for over 14 hours, a statement by the Ministry of Labour said on Sunday.
Those at the meeting were the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebushi Chuckwu; the Chairman of the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Chief Richard Ebule; and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health among others.
In a resolution signed at the end of the meeting, the issues of agitation by the striking doctors was resolved as follows:
. That Resident Doctors would remain on the IPPIS programme but the problems identified by members of NARD in the programme should be addressed and resolved.
. A high-powered committee to be chaired by the Minister of Health was put in place to address the challenges identified by NARD on the implementation of IPPIS. The membership of the committee include the Permanent Secretaries Federal Ministry of Health and Labour, Accountant General of the Federation, Chairman National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Director Finance and Accounts/IPPIS Coordinator, NMA and NARD representatives.
. On funding of Local and Overseas Training of Resident Doctors, the meeting adopted the provisions of the resolution reached on the subject at the meeting held from September 9 to 10, 2013 between the Government and the Nigerian Medical Association with NARD present.
. It was additionally resolved that the Chief Medical Directors should as earlier stated, come up with the list of Resident Doctors as well as the amount of arrears owe each of them for necessary action by the Minister of Health within four weeks.
. That ARD, FMC Owerri should suspend their ongoing one month old strike and appealed to the Minister of Health for the non compliance to Section 43 of the Trade Disputes Act, CAP T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
. On the failure of Enugu State Government to implement the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure for NARD members at the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, it was agreed that the ultimatum issued to the Enugu State Government by NARD should be stepped down and that NARD should subsequently write to inform the Enugu State Government of issues of concern to its members in the spirit of social dialogue.
The resolution, which was jointly signed by the National President of NARD, Dr. Jubril Abdullahi; the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Ambassador Sani Bala; and Chinedu Dike of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, reads in part: “In view of the above dialogue in good faith, a meeting of NARD NEC would be convened on Monday, October 7, 2013 to consider the suspension of the on-going withdrawal of service by its members.”