The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) members were spotted across the country at their duty posts on Monday after calling off their five-day warning strike.
In Abuja hospitals, they were seen going about their duties late afternoon, after a slow return to work was observed in the morning.
The suspension, however, as announced on Sunday has a caveat: NARD President, Emeka Orji, explained that the suspension will be for a period of two weeks during which NARD would make an evaluation of the government’s response to its demands.
The suspension follows a meeting between the executives of NARD and Labour Minister, Chris Ngige, as well as the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Health, at the weekend and the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Federal Government.
Orji said the strike was temporarily called off after a later meeting of NARD’s National Executive Council (NEC).
The Ministry of Labour and Employment in a statement on Sunday by Sunday Olajide Oshundun, said a MoU was signed at the end of a conciliation meeting convened by the Minister.
The doctors, among others, are demanding an immediate increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure to the tune of 200% of their current gross salaries.
The five-day warning strike by the Resident Doctors reportedly paralysed activities at most of Nigeria’s 22 teaching hospitals, as only consultant doctors attended to patients.
The consultants were said to have been overwhelmed by the number of patients they need to attend to on a daily basis, leaving several patients stranded across the country.
NARD is an affiliate of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), with 76 branches domiciled mainly in Federal and State-owned Teaching Hospitals.
Nigeria currently has 22 teaching hospitals, 20 federal medical centres and 17 specialist hospitals.
According to NARD estimates, Nigeria has about 10,000 resident doctors as of November 2022. In total, there are 24,000 doctors including consultants, resident doctors, medical officers engaged in the country’s health sector