By G9ija

The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora has appealed to the striking National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to return to the negotiating table.

He said that the ministry is not happy with what is going on because the primary duty of a doctor is to save lives and “any situation that can result in not completing that task is not one that is welcome anywhere.

“So we will continue to appeal to doctors to come to the negotiating table so that we will continue to keep people alive when they are sick in the hospital”.

Dr. Mamora made the appeal on Monday while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme.

The resident doctors embarked on an indefinite strike on August 2, over irregularities and owing salaries to housing officers.

They claimed that the Federal Government has been mute since the commencement of the industrial action.

But the minister denied the claims made by the striking doctors that it has taken 113 days of silence from the Federal Government since an agreement was signed which caused the ongoing industrial action.

He said that “There are so many issues involved, some of these issues are not from the government’s side, some of these issues have to do with the state and not the Federal Government.

According to him, there is a level to which the Federal Government can get involved, but ‘what the doctors should have done is to appeal to the Federal Government to speak with the state government on their behalf”.

Some of these issues are non-payment of Death in Service Insurance to the next of kin of 19 of its members who died from COVID-19 complications.

Others are; an upward review of the hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance, especially in state-owned-tertiary institutions.

Earlier on Thursday, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire told journalists in Abuja that seven of 12 matters that were raised by the resident doctors were the responsibility of state governments.

He asked the resident doctors to resume work on Friday and take up these issues with the state governments rather than embark on the nationwide strike as they had done.