NARD STRIKE: CLINICAL POSTINGS LIKELY TO BE REVIVED AS DOCTORS EXPRESS READINESS TO END STRIKE
Striking resident doctors have expressed their readiness to suspend their ongoing industrial action, if the Federal Government accedes to their demands. This was revealed by Dr Jerry Isogun, a member of the National Executive Council of NARD, on Sunday in an interview with journalists.
By now, it is common knowledge that the resident doctors commenced the strike action on the 2nd August, 2021. And this was on account of the failure on the part of the Federal Government to fulfill its promises (even after a Memorandum of Action had been signed between both parties) to grant the requests of the aggrieved doctors. The strike is presently in its 9th week and both parties are yet to reach a compromise.
Just about a week ago, the National Industrial Court to which Dr Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, dragged the striking doctors, gave an order that the ongoing strike should be suspended. The judge claimed to have taken into consideration the lives which had been lost as a result of the doctors withdrawing their services. However, the judge implored the Federal Government to at least meet part of the demands of the doctors. He urged both parties to return to the negotiation table to settle all grievances.
Nevertheless, the Federal Government denies owing salaries but the doctors still maintain their stance; they insist there would be no resumption without the government giving them their rights. According to them, an appeal is the next line of action. But the doctors added that they are willing to call a halt to the ongoing strike if the government is willing and ready to fulfill its promises.
An unequivocal out-turn of the 9-week long industrial action, for medical students, has been the substandardness of their clinical postings in recent times. Patients through whom they can learn are not being admitted while resident doctors from whom they can learn are away. Students now rotate through units of the teaching hospital (which they will never return to) learning next to nothing. Their competence is in point of fact endangered. The grass indeed suffers when two elephants fight. An expedition of the resolution process between the involved parties is much needed at this time. This will at least give us a glint of hope in the dark clouds of the status quo.