Nigerian hospital doctors end strike but disputes remain

FILE PHOTO: People are seen going into the National hospital after resident doctors commence a doctors strike, as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection continues to rise in Abuja, Nigeria June 15, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

ABUJA (Reuters) – Resident doctors in Nigerian public hospitals called off a nine-week strike on Monday, saying some of their grievances had been addressed but others including salary arrears remained outstanding.

The strike had begun on Aug. 2, organised by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to protest against the delayed payment of salaries and allowances — a recurrent problem in Nigeria’s healthcare sector.

The NARD said resident doctors, medical school graduates training as specialists who play a major role on emergency wards, would return to work on Wednesday after some of the payments had been made.

But it called on the federal and state governments to urgently address outstanding issues such as what it said was a failure to pay benefits to the relatives of doctors who had died of COVID-19 after caring for patients affected by the virus.

The NARD said its executive committee would reconvene in six weeks to assess the progress made.

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