By Olabisi Akinbode
Ibadan – The President, Association of Resident Doctors, University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan branch, Dr Olusegun Olaopa, said the eight day- old strike embarked upon by the doctors has been called off.
Olaopa said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Ibadan.
He said the directive to suspend the strike was issued to state branches after the NEC of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), rose from its meeting with a delegation of the Federal Government in Abuja.
“Having held series of meetings with the federal government delegation on ways to resolve our pressing demands, the NEC decided that our members should go back to work while the official’s perfect paper works on our agreement.
“Rather than keeping the strike on pending when paper workers would be perfected on deliberations of the meetings, the national body instructed that we suspend the strike and go back to work.
“Government just started paying our August salary yesterday and again 72 per cent of it is being paid while other health workers received 100 per cent of their August salaries about three weeks ago.
“We hope government will live up to the expectation and honour all agreements between the two parties.
“Doctors do not like to abandon duties but when issues bordering on welfare and salaries are concerned, we are left with no choice than going on strike to press home our demands,” he said.
NAN reports that activities at the UCH Ibadan have resumed fully in the wards as some of the residents have commenced consultations.
The Accident and Emergency Unit had once again become a bee-hive of activities with doctors attending to patients.
A patient who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity said she was happy that the strike has been suspended.
She said government should always employ dialogue as a tool to solve industrial disputes, adding that government should respond to distress calls by workers in the health sector.
NAN recalls that resident doctors commenced a nation-wide strike on Monday Sept. 4.
Some of the issues canvassed by NARD include the persistent shortfalls in allocations and unpaid arrears of salaries earned in both Federal and state tertiary health institutions.
Others include the enrolment of resident doctors into the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) since 2003; stagnation of promotion and non promotion of members who have met requisite criteria.
Also included is the implementation of adjusted House Officers’ entry grade level equivalent since 2014, in spite all collective bargaining agreements and circulars.
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