The National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria, NARD, has shifted its planned nationwide strike by two weeks.
The strike that was to commence on April 25 will now begin on May 9, the association said.
The National President of the association, Muhammad Askira, made the disclosure while addressing a news conference in Kano on Sunday.
Mr. Askira said the decision to shift the date of the strike was taken after the extraordinary meeting of the National Executive Council, NEC, of the association held on April 26 in Sokoto.
He said after deliberations on the progress made so far, the council decided to shift the strike by two weeks.
According to him, the decision to shift the strike followed the prompt intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari during a meeting with leaders of the Nigeria Medical Association as contained in a statement released by the president’s media aide.
Mr. Askira said the NEC decision followed the genuine efforts and commitment by the Minister of Health and his management team as well as the intervention of the National Assembly to ensure amicable resolution of the dispute.
“The NEC had also resolved to direct our branches in Osun, specifically LAUTECH Teaching Hospital Osogbo, to immediately suspend the seven month old strike.
“This is to enable the implementation of the agreement reached with the Government of Osun on April 15 in Osogbo.
The national president, however, urged the Federal Government to ensure that all their demands were met as agreed during the negotiation meeting on April 11 to avoid industrial action.
“We hope the Government will meet our demands before the expiration of the deadline so that the strike will be averted in the interest of the Country,” he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja urged the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to shelve its plan to embark on strike and give the federal government more time to address the grievances of doctors.
Speaking at a meeting with the leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), President Buhari gave the doctors an assurance that no agreements duly entered into by the federal government would be dishonoured by his administration.
The president called for greater understanding and support from doctors and all Nigerians in view of the present shortfall in national revenue brought about by the decline in crude oil prices.
Decrying the adverse effect of the fall in oil prices on the federal government’s spending plans for health and other sectors, Mr. Buhari said his administration will continue to do its best to address issues that are of concern to doctors and other Nigerians.
The president also gave the NMA delegation an insight into his administration’s plan to establish 10,000 primary healthcare centres across the country in the next two years with the objective of providing better healthcare for about 100 million Nigerians.
He also told the delegation led by NMA president, Kayode Obembe, that the National Health Act will soon be gazetted and a steering committee appointed to oversee its implementation.
The minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, described the plan to establish more healthcare centres as “the single most ambitious health plan for the poor in the history of Nigeria”.
In his remarks at the meeting, Mr. Obembe called for the implementation of the report of the Yayale Ahmed Committee on better relations among professional groups in the health sector.
The NMA president also called for fast-tracking of the implementation of the National Health Act.