In a bid to resolve their current strike, the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has signed an agreement with the federal government.
The medical practitioners embarked on a five-day warning strike starting May 17, following the expiration of a two-week ultimatum.
Among the doctors’ demands are a 200 per cent pay increase, a boost in clinical staff recruitment for hospitals, and the withdrawal of a bill that would mandate medical and dental graduates to offer five years of compulsory service in Nigeria before obtaining their full practice licenses.
On Friday, representatives from NARD, the Senate Committee on Health, the House of Representatives Committee on Health, and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, convened to discuss these demands.
According to NARD, the decision on whether to accept the government’s proposal based on the timelines in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be made by its National Executive Council (NEC).
Dr Emeka Orji, NARD President, said, “We have heard the government’s position, discussed our stand, and explored what can and cannot be done within specified timelines. We signed the agreement. The government’s offer will now be presented to the NEC for acceptance, rejection, or further directives. As per the MoU, NARD will convene its NEC within the next 48 hours to discuss the outcomes and make a decision.”
Despite the ongoing discussions, the strike has persisted, disrupting medical services in federal hospitals across the nation since it started on Wednesday.