Reps plead with doctors to shelve planned strike
House of Representatives yesterday, pleaded with members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), not to embark on its planned nationwide strike, if the Federal Government fails to meet their demands within 21 days.
At the plenary presided by speaker Yakubu Dogara, the lawmakers mandated its standing committees on Health, Labour and Productivity, to urgently intervene in the matter and ensure immediate resolution of the problems and report back to it within 14 days.
The lawmakers also urged the doctors to rescind their decision to embark on the planned nationwide strike in the interest of Nigerians and allow for the intervention of the National Assembly.
The resolutions were sequel to a motion, under matters of urgent public importance, brought before the House by Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers), wherein he noted with concern the incidence of strike in various sectors of the country.
“The recurring strikes in Nigeria has in recent times assumed an alarming dimension, resulting in low productivity and poor quality service delivery by various public institutions and by extension affected the socio-economic development of the country.”
Chinda noted that, “Health is of great importance in the well-being and development of any nation including Nigeria, thus section 17 (3)(d) of the constitution states that the State shall direct it’s policy towards ensuring that ‘there are adequate medical and health facilities for all persons”, he said.
Arguing further, he said, “In recent times there has been numerous nationwide strikes actions in the health sector by bodies like Joint Health Workers Union of Nigeria and the National Association of Resident Doctors among other bodies that operate in that sector.”
He gave the reasons for the proposed strike as bordering on issues of payment of salaries and wages of their members, particularly in Abia, Imo, Kogi and Osun States, among others.
Other issues at stake include, better conditions of service; appropriate placement of their members in federal and state tertiary hospitals across the country; reversal of sack of their members in some hospitals; adequate funding of residency programme; and upgrading of public health facilities,” he added.
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