Federal GovernmentonWednesdaycondemned the ongoing strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors with a call on themto return to work.
Chukwu, according to a statement in Abuja by his Special Assistant, Media and Communication, Mr. Dan Nwomeh, said the demand for the suspension of the Chief Medical Director of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo State, Prof. George Akpede, was not part of the reasons for the strike.
He recalled that during a meeting he had with the NARD, its branch members in ISTH, the Nigerian Medical Association and representatives of the Board and Management of ISTH on June 14 2013, the suspension of the CMD was not part of the agreement.
But the President of NARD, Dr. Ismail Lawal, told The PUNCH that the suspension of the CMD was among the demands, adding that “the minister omitted it during the meeting.”
He said, “We reached some resolutions but at the end of the day,there was nothing that was discussed about the demand but to us, his view was that the process of suspension of a CMD was cumbersome. When we got to that aspect, he omitted it.”
But the statement by Nwomeh pointed out that , “the meeting was sequel to a notice of strike served the Federal Ministry of Health by NARD, over some industrial issues at ISTH Irrua.” It added, “All the contentious issues were resolved and a joint statement of the resolutions duly signed by the appropriate representatives of the FMOH and NARD .
“However, following a motion for injunction against the planned strike by the CMD of ISTH , a motion that has not even been granted, NARD reacted by serving fresh notice of a national warning strike; not a local ISTH strike by the hospital’s ARD.”
It said that although Chukwu had directed that “the matter be withdrawn from court in the spirit of the earlier agreement, NARD is now demanding for the suspension of the CMD of ISTH.”