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NARD Adopt Telehealth as Strike Begins

On Saturday, the National Executive Council of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) after its meeting in Umuahia, Abia State, directed members of the Association to embark on a nationwide strike due to the non-implementation of the previous agreements reached by the Association and the government.

In a circular addressed to members of the Association and sighted by this reporter, the Association said: “This strike has provided an opportunity to reach out to our dear patients until we resolve our issues with the Government.” 

The Association further directed that patients be informed of the alternative Telehealth platform while the strike lasts. The Association further directed its members to enrol on the Telehealth platform of the Association to enable them to attend to their patients. 

“There will be free consultations [for] our patients starting from Thursday 4th August 2021. Our target is to reach out to one million Nigerians within this year (NARD one in a million program),” the circular reads in part.

However, when this reporter visited the UNIOSUN Teaching Hospital in Osogbo, doctors were on duty and patients were being attended to.

A doctor at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital who spoke anonymously, when asked about the status of the hospital as far as the strike was concerned, said: “UNIOSUN Teaching Hospital is open and we are working, you can’t attend to an Accident and Emergency Patient virtually.”

He, however, directed this reporter to the ARD Secretariat of the hospital.

Another doctor at the ARD Secretariat said the last he heard about the strike was that consultations were still being made since the hospital is a state health institution. “The person in the best position to talk to on this matter is the ARD President and he isn’t around now, you may have to check back.” 

Unfortunately, repeated calls made to Dr A. S. Afolabi, ARD President of the hospital, went unanswered on Monday.

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