The Bauchi state and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, chapters of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, have said that they were yet to join the industrial action embarked upon by resident doctors.
General Secretary, FCT, chapter of National Association of Resident Doctors, Roland Aigbovo, said the chapter was yet to join the ongoing nationwide strike.
Mr Aigbovo, who made the disclosure on Wednesday in Abuja, said the chapter could not join the strike because its management was presently discussing issues relating to payment of NARD levels and arrears.
He said “discussions have reached advanced stage; we have written to the national body to exempt us from the ongoing strike and we are waiting for response and hope that our appeal is approved.”
He, however, said that while work continued at the hospital, the strike was being observed in government hospitals within the FCT such as National Hospital, Federal Medical Centre Jabi and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada.
Mr Aigbovo added that the association’s leadership would meet with the Minister of Labour and Productivity on Wednesday to deliberate on pending issues.
He noted that the meeting would focus on memorandum of terms of settlement reached on August 31, which was turned down by the association’s National Executive Council.
He said if Federal Government had implemented the memorandum, the association would not have called for national strike.
“It is not that we love going on strike, but the issue of sincerity of purpose and trust is at stake here,” he said.
He stressed the need for all parties to an agreement to be ready to fulfill same, especially in a trade dispute.
He frowned at situations where Federal Government always reneged on its agreement, saying this gave
room for strike.
He maintained that whatever the outcome of the association’s leadership meeting with the Minister of Labour, there would still be need to call for emergency National Executive Council meeting.
This, he said, was especially so because the strike was declared by the council.
Meanwhile, Medical doctors at the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Azare, Bauchi State have also said that they are yet to join the strike.
The NMA chairman of the state chapter, Sani Giade, made this in Bauchi.
He said the doctors stayed action on the strike pending an outcome of a scheduled meeting between the union and the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
Mr Giade said the meeting was scheduled to hold on Wednesday with officials of the NMA and the NARD.
“By not embarking on the strike was a deliberate action to wait for the final outcome of the meeting between government officials and officials of the unions.
“The resident doctors at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, ATBU TH, have already begun the strike and they are more in number than the doctors at the FMC Azare.
He, however, expressed the hope that at the end of the day, things would be fine.
Mr Giade said that the services being provided by the FMC doctors would not go unnoticed, as it would impact greatly on the lives and well being of patients.