The leadership of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has agreed to suspend its strike at a meeting with other health officials on Tuesday.
The association’s leadership also appealed to members to suspend the strike until the next meeting scheduled for July 14.
The decision emanated from the meeting between resident doctors and other stakeholders, organised by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogàra in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting will reconvene in three weeks to review progress made in the implementation of agreements reached in the meeting slated for July.
The decision came as the federal government directed the chief medical directors and medical director of federal tertiary hospitals to fill the vacancies created by resident doctors who have “abandoned” their training programme by refusing to report for work.
The directive was contained in a circular signed by the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Amina Shamaki, and sent to medical directors of hospitals.
“It has come to the notice of the Management of the Ministry that some Resident Doctors in your establishment have voluntarily withdrawn from the Residency Training Program by refusing to report for training without authorization.
Public Service Rule, PSR 030402 (e) is relevant. This is in spite of the ongoing negotiations on their demands put forward by the representatives of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) under the auspices of the Nigerian Medical Association.
“In view of this development, you are hereby directed to replace all the doctors that have withdrawn their services, with others from the pool of applicants for the training programs in the various disciplines in order not to create ominous gap in training with attendant disruption of health care delivery in your facility.
“Meanwhile, the ministry is working with the panel on the review of the Residency Training Program in Nigeria, led by Professor Wole Atoyebi, the Registrar of the National Postgraduate Medical College, to fast-track the development of a comprehensive blueprint for postgraduate training of doctors in the country.
“Please, ensure immediate compliance,” the circular read.