NMA urges FG to withdraw all court suits against NARD

By AdvocateNews on 24/08/2021

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The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged the Federal Government to withdraw all court cases instituted against the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to engender amicable resolution.

The Chairman of NMA Enugu State Branch, Dr Jude Onyia, made the call on Tuesday in Enugu while speaking to newsmen on the lingering strike that had reduced the capacity of government-owned hospitals nationwide.

It would be recalled that the National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Monday ordered striking members of NARD and the Federal Government to suspend all forms of hostilities and maintain status quo.

Justice John Targema, the vacation judge in his ruling, gave the order pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice. Targema said that he granted the application after careful consideration of the processes filed by the applicants.

Onyia noted that at no time had industrial disputes been settled amicably in the court but “for an harmonious settlement to be reached - dialogue is the answer”.

He said that the resident doctors remained the major professional workforce in tertiary health institutions in the country, adding that they constitute over 50 per cent of the professional workforce.

The chairman noted that the medical consultants might be working but it might not be effectively; while patients to be attended would be reduced as well.

He noted that “the striking doctors are enjoying the sympathy of the general public”, adding that it would be in the best interest of all for amicable settlement and plights of doctors looked into objectively.

“The National Executive Council of the NMA will be meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 25, in Benin, where we hope to discuss the strike extensively but the Federal Government must withdraw all court suits against NARD in the interest of the citizens.

“The government needed to also withdraw the circular by the Head of Service removing House Officers and NYSC doctors from the scheme of service.

“There should be relative atmosphere of peace for dialogue and roundtable discussion, which is the needed negotiation to take place to reach a solution,’’ he said.

He lamented the insensitivity of the paltry N5,000 given to doctors as hazard allowance in the face of their exposure to dreaded diseases such Lassa fever, Ebola and COVID-19, which had claimed the lives of their colleagues.

“The government and entire nation have to rally round our doctors to check their exodus from the country, which portends more danger for the health sector and wellbeing of the entire citizens.

“If, the current number of doctors still giving service in the country, is further reduce it will surely tell on the health system of the country.

“The capacity of the medical system to have good number of medical professional to attend to unforeseen nationwide health emergencies,” he warned.

NARD began the strike Aug. 2, while it claimed  that one of its reason for the strike was due to the failure of the government to meet its demands after they entered a memorandum of action  in 2014.

One of the demands was for the withdrawal of the circular by the Head of Service removing House Officers and NYSC doctors from the scheme of service.

NARD also wanted Federal and state governments to address the issues of welfare, training and service delivery. 

Posted 24/08/2021 6:18:55 PM


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