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Senate urges resident doctors to suspend strike

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The Senate on Monday urged the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to suspend the ongoing nationwide strike in the interest of Nigerians.

The Federal Government flagged off the phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination exercise on Monday.

The Chairman of Senate Committee on Health, Ibrahim Oloriegbe, who made the call in a chat with journalists during the rollout of the Modena and Johnson &Johnson COVID-19 vaccines in Abuja , said the vaccination exercise would be hampered without the doctors.

He implored the doctors to embrace dialogue with the Federal Government on the matter.

The chairman said: “As we speak today, we have some sections of health workers who are not working. For ethical delivery of vaccines, we need health workers.

“Human resource is a huge challenge in our country. I want to call on our colleagues who are on strike to please avail themselves of all opportunities of negotiations that the government has given.

“The resources they are asking for have already been provided and are being processed. So, I want to ask the resident doctors to please go back to work.

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“I want to assure all Nigerians that the National Assembly is working collaboratively with the executive arm and other stakeholders to resolve these human resources challenges in Nigeria.

“It is a huge issue because if you have the money, if you have the materials, we need men to get healthcare delivered, and we assure Nigerians that we shall handle this.”

The resident doctors embarked on an indefinite nationwide strike on August 2 over grievances that include the delayed payment of salaries and allowances.

NARD said in a statement that salary shortfalls stretching over several months, failure to pay COVID-19 allowances and shortages of manpower in hospitals across the country, among others, pushed its members to strike.

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