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National assembly reacts to resident doctors’ strike, asks them to embrace negotiation

The National Assembly has called on the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to suspend the nationwide strike and embrace negotiation with the federal government.

Recall that the doctors had embarked on strike on Monday over the alleged failure of the federal government to fulfil its part of an agreement raised in a 13-point demand.

NARD specifically accused the federal government of “irregular payment of salaries” to its members.

The chairman of senate committee on health, Ibrahim Oloriegbe while speaking at an event organised by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Wednesday in Abuja said the strike could lead to the deaths of patients in hospitals.

Oloriegbe said the country is in a critical situation, where healthcare is needed now more than ever owing to the outbreak of different diseases.

“Any issue with strike is about money and you can say you will pay in arrears but there are no arrears for life, and our primary responsibility as doctors is to save lives,” he said.

“In view of this, whatever are the issues, can always be resolved through dialogue.

“So, I join my colleagues to call on the doctors to go back to work while discussions are ongoing to resolve the issues at stake.”

Also speaking, Tanko Sununu, chairman, house of representatives committee on healthcare services, said the national assembly is working to ensure that the pending issues involving the union are resolved.

“I am calling on NARD to please look at the situation of the country and call off the strike,” he said.

“We do know that there have been issues raised and we are working hard to ensure that those issues are resolved within the shortest possible time. However, we need their cooperation.

“Luckily for us, and as it was even observed in their communique, the national assembly made provision for many allowances for NARD with residency training fund inclusive.

“We do hope that the hardship that we have suffered will be short-lived because we will agree and reach a conclusion that will help this country.”

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