In a bid to avert the plan by the doctors in the country to embark on a strike, the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, intervened in the crisis between the Federal Government and the National Association of Resident Doctors.
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila specifically begged the doctors not to make good their threat, particularly in the face of the ravaging COVID -19 pandemic, during a meeting with officials of the government and the NARD to resolve issues that resulted in the planned strike.
Gbajabiamila was at the three-hour meeting to settle the crisis with the Minister of Health, Prof Osagie Ehanire; Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora; the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze; President, NARD, Sokomba Aliyu; and the Secretary-General, Nigeria Medical Association, Ekpe Philips, among others.
The Speaker said, “As a House, we will keep taking steps to avoid strikes. This meeting will give us the opportunity to holistically address the issues at stake. Let us agree on one thing: that at this time, we can’t afford to allow our doctors go on strike. Let us agree that their welfare is a priority.
“I want to appeal to the President of NARD and the association itself: my appeal is on humanitarian basis. You’re dealing with lives, so I appeal to you to suspend the strike. I’m making this appeal because of your professional calling. You’re dealing with lives. I want you to understand that government is doing its best to meet your entitlement.”
Resident doctors under the aegis of NARD had last Saturday issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government to immediately implement all the agreements it had with the association or risk an indefinite strike by their members.