Resident Doctors Suspend Nationwide Strike

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended its nationwide strike with immediate effect from Monday, June 22.

In a communique issued on Sunday, the association said the decision to suspend the industrial action followed a virtual meeting of over 300 of its members.

NARD President, Aliyu Sokomba said the National Executive Council decided to suspend the strike in order to give the Federal and State Governments time to fulfill the outstanding demands of the association.

According to him, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi had intervened in the matter.

The organisation had called the strike over a range of issues, including the ‘grossly inadequate’ provision of protective equipment and calls for hazard pay for those working on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Other demands focused on improving general welfare and protesting dismissals or pay cuts for doctors in two regions.

Strikes by medical practitioners are common in the country, where the health sector has been underfunded for years.

The authorities fear that any reduction in capacity could severely hamper its ability to tackle the pandemic as the number of cases continues to rise.

The main nationwide doctors union briefly staged a warning strike in commercial hub Lagos over police harassment of its members.

At the moment, Nigeria has recorded nearly 20,000 cases and 506 deaths since the first index case of the virus in February.

More than 800 health workers have been infected by the virus, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

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