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COVID-19: Bayelsa Govt wades into Resident Doctors strike

The Bayelsa government has taken steps to end ongoing strike by Resident Doctors at Bayelsa government owned Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH) Okolobiri.

 The doctors said they have yet to resume from the indefinite strike called off on Sunday by the national body over several outstanding issues with the health sector.

 Dr Oru Oru Inetsol, President of chapter of ARD  on Tuesday said that the Bayelsa government was in talks with the resident doctors to resolve the labour dispute.

 He noted that following the goodwill shown by the government in the negotiations, the resident doctors deployed to the COVID-19 isolation centre were rendering services.

 “The Bayelsa Deputy Governor and the Speaker of the House of Assembly led the government team that met with us on Monday and we are making progress with the negotiations.

 “Our grievances are beyond hazard allowances and conditions of service but stretch into the general health sector. But we are hopeful of a resolution from the ongoing dialogue,” Inetsol said.

 The leadership of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) had on Sunday directed its members across the country to return to work as the Federal Government said it has cleared outstanding hazard allowances amongst others.

 NDUTH hosts the 100 bed capacity COVID-19 isolation centre located at the outskirts of Yenagoa, Bayelsa capital.

 The rising spread of confirmed cases to 177 and 137 active cases,29 recoveries and 11 deaths in Bayelsa with less than 200 bed isolation capacity has raised concerns of an impending crisis in the coming days.

However, at the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa normalcy was gradually returning as many patients were receiving  medial attention.

 Dr Ebidimie-Divine Irole, President of ARD in the hospital said that work was gradually returning to normal pace as the doctors have returned to work as directed by the national leadership of resident doctors.

 “We have all resumed work and you can see that patients are gradually returning to the hospital and are receiving services.

 “We are optimistic that the federal government would reciprocate the gesture and offset the hazard allowance as earlier pledged,” Irole said  





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