The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended its nationwide protest earlier scheduled to commence Wednesday, August 9.
The resident doctors are also likely to call off their ongoing strike soon.
The National President of the association, Dr Emeka Orji announced the suspension while briefing newsmen on Tuesday after meeting with Senate President Godswill Akpabio and other Principal Officers of the Senate at the National Assembly, Abuja.
The association had planned to embark on peaceful protests from Wednesday and picket the Federal Ministry of Health, the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, and the federal and state tertiary health institutions in the country.
Recalls that NARD embarked on an indefinite strike on July 26, 2023, following the expiration of a two-week ultimatum issued to the government to meet its demands.
The doctors, among others are demanding the implementation of the one-for-one replacement policy for healthcare workers; the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to discontinue the downgrading of the membership certificate issued by the West African Postgraduate Medical and Surgical Colleges; the immediate payment of all salary arrears; the implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure; a new hazard allowance; and the domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act.
Orji after meeting with the Senate leadership said that from their discussions, they were very hopeful that when they table their discussions before the NEC, something positive would come out.
He said, “From our interaction with the President of the Senate and the practical demonstration he did before us today, we are very confident that there will be light at the end of the tunnel in the next 24 hours.”
He said that following Akpabio’s intervention and the assurance given to them, the planned national protest had been cancelled, while the decision on the ongoing strike would be taken as soon as they meet.
Senator Akpabio thanked the medical doctors for honouring the Senate.
He assured that their demands were well noted, adding that as soon as a Minister in charge of Health is appointed, the Senate would work to expeditiously address all their grievances.