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National Assembly pleads with doctors to call off strike

The National Assembly (NASS) on Wednesday appealed to the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to “consider the situation in the country” and call off the strike embarked upon on Aug. 2.

The Chairman, House Committee on Healthcare Services, Dr Tanko Sununu, made the call at the inauguration of a sensitisation campaign organised by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Abuja.

NARD started a nationwide industrial action on Aug. 2 over welfare and other conditions of service to members.

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

“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.”

He expressed the hope that the assembly would get the cooperation of everybody, including the executive arm of government, to fast track the calling off of the strike.

The chairman said that the strike was not something that anybody would want because anybody could fall sick and be a victim.

“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,” he added.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Dr Ibrahim Oloriegbe, also appealed to the doctors to return to work.

He said it was imperative for doctors to call of the strike because it could lead to loss of lives and any life lost would never be regained.

He added that “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.

“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.”

Oloriegbe said it was important for Nigerians to access healthcare from qualified and competent doctors in the nation’s public hospitals.

He expressed hope that NARD would yield to the call and ensure that services were not stopped in hospitals.

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