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Strike: FG Opens Negotiations With Resident Doctors


Oluwasina Phillip

The Federal Government through the Ministry of Health, has began engagements with the National Association of Resident Doctors, in a bid to resolving the ongoing strike.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.

National President of the Association, Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, had said that the government was yet to implement the agreements it entered with the union, hence the renewed strike that commenced today.

He had decried that only four percent of the total budget is being allocated to the health sector, while over 20 percent are spent on salaries for public servants.

He also revealed that of 19 families of medical doctors who died while treating COVID-19 patients, only one family has received the death-in-service insurance which was promised by the government.

However, speaking at the COVID-19 press briefing, the Minister said that while engagements are ongoing with the Association, Medical Directors at Federal and State hospitals are directed to ensure that service delivery is not disrupted in their centres.

He said, “Federal Ministry of Health is engaging resident doctors who have embarked on industrial action with a view to quickly resolving the issues.”

He also disclosed that vaccination in Nigeria will soon begin, following the the arrival of 4,000,080 doses of Moderna vaccines from the United States Government.

The vaccines, according to him are undergoing the necessary validation by NAFDAC, as Nigeria would have received over 40 million doses of vaccines by the end of the year.

“The National Primary health Care Development Agency, shall commence distribution to the States as soon as NAFDAC certifies them fit for use in Nigerian.

“Evidence from our treatment centres show that most of those with severe illnesses and deaths from covid are people who didn’t get vaccinated.

“It was also observed that where infection occurred in those vaccinated, it was with very mild or no illness. It is therefore in our interest to be vaccinated, as a moral responsibility, as also doing so also protects our loved ones,” he said.

Available data as at Monday shows that Nigeria has recorded a total of 174,315 Covid-19 cases from 2,542,261 samples tested, with 7,151 active cases, and 2,149 deaths.

He said that only 17 States made data or sample submissions in the last cycle, where Lagos and Akwa Ibom States were the epicenters.

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