The Bayelsa government has initiated measures to end the ongoing Resident Doctors’ strike at the state-owned Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH), Okolobiri.
The doctors said they had yet to suspend their indefinite strike, in spite of the suspension of the nationwide action by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Sunday.
Dr Oru Inetsol, the state President of the Association of Resident Doctors said in Yenagoa on Tuesday that the state government was holding talks with the body to resolve the labour dispute.
Inetsol said that resident doctors deployed to the COVID-19 isolation centre were working, following the goodwill so far shown by the government during the negotiations.
NDUTH hosts the 100-bedded COVID-19 isolation centre located on the outskirts of Yenagoa.
“The Deputy Governor and 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 the NARD had on Sunday directed its members across the country to return to work, following Federal Government’s promise to clear outstanding hazard allowances, amongst others.
The rising confirmed cases of the virus to 177 in Bayelsa with 137 active cases, 29 recoveries and 11 deaths, with less than 200-bedded isolation centres, have raised concerns of an impending crisis in the days ahead.
At the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, normalcy had gradually returned as many patients were seen receiving medical attention at different units.
Dr Ebidimie-Divine Irole, President of ARD in the hospital, told NAN that doctors had returned to work and that normalcy was gradually returning to the facility.
“We have all resumed work and you can see that patients are gradually returning to the hospital and receiving services.
“We are optimistic that the federal government would reciprocate the gesture and offset the hazard allowances as pledged,” Irole said.
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