The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the Association of Resident Doctors has announced the suspension of its eight-day warning strike, which was embarked upon on the March 16.
The resident doctors had down tools over salary irregularities and shortfalls since their migration to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
In a statement signed by the President of the association, Dr. Roland Aigbovo and made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja, the association maintained that the decision to suspend its withdrawal of services was due to a directive from the president of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) following the increasing numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county.
Aigbovo, who however, gave the management of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) until April 30, to meet its demands, added that failure to do so would have the resident doctors resume the suspended strike action.
He said that “our members were thrown into serious financial distress following the non-payment of our salaries as at when due and we waited patiently after the end of year 2019 and new year 2020 celebrations, till third week of February, only for us to receive a paltry sum of money as January salary.
“The money received ranges from one-fifth to one-seventh of our salary with the exclusion of the newly employed members who have not been paid for about five – seven months.
“Arising from our first quarter, ordinary general meeting that held on February 24, a 14-day ultimatum was issue to the FCTA management to resolve the issues.
“At the turn of events, the House Committee on Healthcare Services convoked an emergency meeting of top management staff of the FCTA, national officers committee of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), executive members of NMA, FCT chapter and the executive committee of ARD-FCTA with the House Committee on Healthcare Services on March 20.
“The threat of mass sack of ARD-FCTA members who fail to resume work within 24 hours was withdrawn.’’
Aigbovo urged the FCTA management to make available adequate infection prevention and control measures in all hospitals with adequate supply of face masks, hand sanitizers, personal protective equipment for the returning doctors to work with in containing the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.