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Healthcare: NARD gives 2-week notice, urges Government to implement new hazard allowance

Dr. Chris Ngige, Honourable Minister for Labour and Employment

*The National Association of Resident Doctors in Nigeria also asks the Federal Government to expedite action on payment of the newly reviewed Medical Residency Training Fund within the two weeks

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has urged the Federal Government to implement the payment of the new Hazard Allowance and arrears stipulated as of December 22, 2021.

Dr. Dare Ishaya, President of NARD, stated this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria Sunday, July 31, 2022.

The NARD President noted that the allowance is contained in the circular issued by National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) dated December 22 last year with reference number SWC/S/04/S.218/11/406.

Ishaya also said the National Executive Council (NEC) of the association at its meeting and scientific conference which ended Saturday, decided to present the Federal Government with a two-week notice to implement the circular.

According to him, the two weeks would take effect from August 1 to August 14, after which the group would convene another meeting and decide on what to do to drive home their demands.

Ishaya further disclosed, that NARD issued communique after the conference, which also stipulated other demands the association wanted the authorities to meet.

He said: “Also our medical training is just a function of the Duty Tour Allowance because just like any other person who goes out to represent the government, it is the same thing with us.

“More so, it has already been issued in circulars and others have started enjoying it, why can’t it be implemented for us?”

NARD President stated: “So, when NEC deliberated over all these issues and considering the economic realities in the country, we felt that the government was not being serious in implementing those things they had issued circulars about.

“So there is a need to give the government some time line to act and we could have resumed the suspended strike without giving the government any notice but NEC decided to give the notice to see if they will try to resolve this issue.

“That was why we issued the two weeks notice and if after the meeting nothing is done we will review the situation and take further actions for which nationwide industrial harmony may not be guaranteed.”

In the communique, the association is also urging the Federal Government to expedite action on the payment of the newly reviewed Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) within the two weeks.

This is to enable its members to meet up with the closing date of examination registration as advertised by the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN).

The Association as well petitioned the Federal Government to expedite action on the payment of the skipping arrears for 2014, 2015 and 2016 to deserving members as the patience of the association was waning concerning the matter.

It noted: “NEC demands immediate payment of consequential adjustment of minimum wage to our members who have been deprived this benefit since it was implemented several years ago.

“NEC demands an immediate review of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and other related allowances given the current economic situation in the country.

It said this was also in line with the agreed terms from the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that it would be reviewed regularly, Ishaya stated.

The association also urged the Federal and all State Governments to look into the issue of assault on doctors and thoroughly investigate the ongoing cases and put measures to forestall future occurrences.

It enjoined the Federal Government to take steps towards curtailing the brain drain in the health sector and find ways of eliminating all bureaucratic bottlenecks in the employment and replacement of the resident doctors.

The doctors advocated an increase in funding of the healthcare sector in the country to the tune of 15 per cent budgetary allocation in line with the 2001 Abuja declaration for healthcare financing in Africa and global best practices.

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