The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has appealed to the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), not to carry out its threat to embark on an indefinite strike at this crucial time of the fight against Covid-19.
He made the appeal while responding to questions from journalists in Abuja, on Tuesday.
It would be recalled that three days ago, at the end of its 2020 Ordinary General Meeting in Bauchi, NARD issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to immediately implement all the agreements it had with the Association or it will embark on an indefinite strike.
However, while responding to questions, Ehanire said that negotiation had since commenced to ensure that the demands of the resident doctors are met.
According to him: “As we speak, negotiation is going on with the Minister of Labour, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health is there representing us, and most of the points raised by the Resident Doctors are points that have easy solutions that can be solved.
“Some of them are actually from way back, they are not new, but the ones regarding Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), we have actually addressed.
“PPEs are being supplied as requested and as needed; so they are keeping a very good eye on the inventory and supply chain.
“There was a time in the past when we had some constraints, but we have actually gone past that level now and there are plans to continue to increase the stockpile of PPEs that we have.
“So, I’ll also use this opportunity to speak to the Resident Doctors and urge them not to carry out that threat at this time, everything is being done to make sure that all the questions are answered.
“I also want to say that if they have any kind of grudges of that nature in the future, they should use the avenue of communication, my office is always open and they can call me up or write to me to discuss these issues at the Ministerial level before it gets to the public level; to use all avenues of collaboration.
“All of us are members of the NMA and we too, were once Resident Doctors, so we understand your position and we’ll be able to make sure we see to your needs.”