By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
In its bid at giving room for out of court settlement, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has withdrawn the suit filed against the Joseph University Teaching Hospital (JUTH).
This was contained in the communique issued at the end of its extra ordinary council meeting held at the National Hospital Abuja at the weekend, jointly signed by its President, Dr. Ugochukwu Chinaka, Secretary General, Dr. Osinachukwu Nnadi and Publicity and Social Secretary, Dr. Ugochukwu A. Eze.
“NARD has withdrawn the suit against the JUTH Management and has opted for Out of Court Settlement on the issue of unjustly sacked Resident Doctors in JUTH, ” it stated.
NARD NEC said that having deeply considered the plight of their patients and the need to protect the country’s health sector, resolved to shelve all actions capable of hampering industrial harmony in the Health Sector.
” NEC salutes all Resident Doctors across the Nation who put in their best during the last JOHESU Strike. You did that for the benefit of our patients and our Country at large and further demonstrated commitment to the cause of patients. You bore true allegiance to the Physician’s pledge and you are well appreciated.
“NARD believes that the Federal Government of Nigeria would meet all our outstanding agreement as contained in the 06/09/2017 Memorandum of Terms of Settlement (MOTOS) between Government, NARD and NMA and also sort out all our outstanding welfare issues in the shortest possible time, ” it said.
The communique said that as part of its resolutions, NEC unanimously and humbly requested the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to use his good office to graciously assent to the RTP Act in order to lay to rest all the contentious issues affecting Resident Doctors in Nigeria.
“There is an extant circular on duration of Residency Training Program (RTP) released by the Federal Ministry of Health on 18th July 2014 which is not being implemented by many Tertiary Health Institutions.
“The Residency Training Programme (RTP) Act passed long ago by the legislature is still awaiting Presidential assent despite it being central to addressing the challenges in Post Graduate Medical Training in Nigeria, ” it submitted.
It said that NEC extensively deliberated on Healthcare Delivery in Nigeria, Issues affecting Residency Training Programme in Nigeria and welfare of its members.
” The following observations were made:
There is a 63 day ultimatum issued to the Federal Government on JUTH and Government’s inability to redeem all the agreements contained in the 6th September, 2017 Memorandum of Terms of Settlement (MOTOS). The said ultimatum elapsed yesterday, the 1st of June,2018
“During the industrial action by other Health workers (JOHESU), our members who constitute the largest pool of Doctors in the Country worked assiduously to provide available healthcare to the Nigerian Populace, ” NARD pointed out.
The group explained that as believers in advocacy and constructive engagement, the NARD leadership has gone about their negotiations diligently, and they will be exploring all avenues necessary in resolving disputes, particularly having at the back of their minds, the centrality and importance of the patient in all of these social and health equations.
“NARD enjoins all our members to continue to work assiduously towards uplifting the image of the Health Sector and to continue our dedication to patient management. We urge you, even the more, to improve on what you are doing at the moment.
“NARD also urges all members to embrace other Health Workers as they return to work because we are partners in progress and extend a warm hand of fellowship so we move together in one purposeful direction-Quality Patient Management, “it adviced.
NARD appreciated the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment Sen. (Dr.) Chris Nwabueze Ngige, the Director Hospital Services, Dr. O.J Amedu mini and the Chairman JUTH Management Board, Engr. Bart Nike.
Also appreciated were, the Chief Medical Director of JUTH, Prof Edmund Banwat, the NMA President, Dr. Francis Faduyile, the Chairman Committee of CMD’s, Prof Thomas Agan, the MDCAN President, Prof Ngim Ngim, the Chief Medical Director NHA Dr. JAF Momoh, and all well-meaning Nigerians who have intervened in one way or the other towards resolving this impasse.
“We also salute the entire Congress of ARD NHA, all NEC members from different parts of the country and wish all a safe journey to their respective destinations and a happy Ramadan, ” it prayed.