The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended its nationwide strike which has left many patients helpless in government-owned hospitals in the last two months.
Members of the association voted in favour of suspending the industrial action during a meeting held on Sunday.
A member of the association confirmed the development to Channels Television via the telephone on Monday. He said that 56 officials voted for the suspension of the industrial action, against 28 who wanted the strike to continue.
NARD’s First Vice President, Dr Chima Edoga, also told Channels Television that the officials of the association would issue an official statement on their action later on Monday.
The resident doctors embarked on a nationwide strike on August 2 to protest several issues that affect them.
These include the non-payment of death benefits to families of members who died while treating COVID-19 patients, as well as non-payment of hazard allowance and arrears of salaries of members in various states.
In its bid to get the doctors back to work, the Federal Government had convened several meetings with the association, but the talks failed to resolve the impasse with both parties trading accusations in the media.
The government also sued the association at the National Industrial Court in Abuja and Justice Bashar Alkali who presided over the matter ordered the resident doctors to suspend their strike and return to work immediately, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
In the ruling delivered on September 17, Justice Alkali also directed parties in the matter to return to the negotiating table, saying no amount of money could compensate for the loss of lives as a result of the impasse.
The NARD, however, instructed its lawyers to file necessary processes to appeal the ruling, rather than ask members to return to their duty posts.
It accused the court of denying it a fair hearing by refusing to hear and determine its Notice of Preliminary Objection before taking the government’s application for interlocutory injunction.