By Edeki Igafe
The Chief Medical Director of Central Hospital, Warri, Dr Paul Okunbor, has appealed to the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD), to shelve its ongoing nationwide strike.
Okunbor made the appealed on Tuesday in Warri, while reacting to the industrial action embarked upon by the doctors.
He, however, appealed to government to do the needful by implementing the demands of the aggrieved doctors.
On June 15, the doctors embarked on a nationwide indefinite strike to press demands over improved working condition.
It will be recalled that the association had earlier given the Federal Government two weeks ultimatum to implement their agreements or face indefinite showdown.
The doctors are asking for universal implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act in all federal and state hospitals.
Their other demands are provision of funding of medical residency training in the 2021 Appropriation Bill, implementation of the revised hazard and payment of agreed COVID-19 inducement allowances.
Other contending issues are a lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for members of the association in the frontlines, treating COVID-19 patients, which recently resulted in the death of some doctors among others.
The CMD described the demands of the resident doctors as genuine.
“The doctors have the right to make the demands, especially when the issues are in the front burner and government is expected to have addressed them.
“However, the timing is not good because we are dealing with a pandemic. We need all hands on deck, including critical stakeholders like the resident doctors, who are in the frontlines to deal with this COVID-19.
“Their demands are legitimate but we can only appeal to them to consider the crisis that is on ground. They should shelve the strike and give the government some time to address their demands,’’ Okubor said. (NAN)