The leadership of the National Association of Resident Physicians (NARD) met on Wednesday and vowed to continue the strike across the country until the federal government meets all their demands.
A week after the industrial action began, it did established activities in hospitals across the country, but local doctors say, “to continue; victory is close“, Which means,” the struggle continues; victory is certain. “
So, what is the bone of contention?
A statement issued after the meeting listed all ten demands that sparked the strike and re-evaluated the federal government’s response to each.
TheCable contacted the federal health ministry to confirm the doctors’ claims.
Here is the full list of requests shared in a statement issued by Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, NARD President (pictured above):
1. Immediate payment of all salaries to all domestic police officers, including March salaries (regardless of the quota system) before the end of business on March 31, 2021.
As of today, although some of them have been paid, the payment has been damaged with so many irregularities. Most of them are still unpaid.
2. Direct payment of all arrears of salaries, including March salaries for our members in all federal (GIFMIS platforms) and state tertiary health care facilities across the country.
None of these doctors who worked for more than four months were paid. Our members in countries like ABSUTH, IMSUTH and UNIMEDTH still owe twenty, five and four months’ salary, respectively.
3. Review of the above current hazard benefits at 50% of the consolidated basic salaries of all health care workers and the payment of the outstanding incentive allowance for COVID-19.
Danger allowances have remained five thousand naira (5000) for more than thirty (30) years. In order for the Honorary Minister of Labor and Employment (HMOL & E) to pretend ignorance about it on national television, many wishes remain today. This is the lowest level since someone who was in the Senate of Nigeria, where the monthly compensation for difficulties for senators is N1, 242,122.70. The request for a five-month review, despite the ongoing strike, is truly shameful. An honest government should immediately convene all stakeholders to address this issue once and for all.
4. Payment of death in service insurance for all health workers who have died from COVID-19 infection or other infectious diseases in the country.
This legitimate request was ignored.
5. Payment of salary shortfalls in 2014, 2015 and 2016 to our members in all federal institutions, including state institutions, as previously agreed with the NARD.
Nothing has been done in this regard.
6. Universal domestication / implementation of the 2017 MRTA by all federal governments and state training institutions to ensure adequate funding for in-country training in the country as provided by law.
State governments in particular have not done anything about it.
7. Abolition of excessive bench fees paid by our members on external announcements in all training institutions across the country with immediate effect.
The only positive result of the conciliatory meeting with HMoLE, however, is not yet a circular that does not support the abolition.
8. Direct disbursement in 2019, balance of 2020 and 2021 of medical residency training funds (MRTF) to our members, including those employed in the state government.
Despite our ongoing engagement with FMOH on this issue, we were shocked that the conciliatory HMoLE meeting needed to instruct FMOH to check that residency training funds were recorded in the 2021 budget. This is both pathetic and awful.
9. Immediate revision of the law governing postgraduate medical training in Nigeria in line with international best practice for removing unnecessary rigor in residential training in Nigeria, one of the factors attributed to brain drain in the health sector.
Nothing has been done here either.
10. Reintroduction of the medical structure of super salaries and allowances for specialists for all doctors, as has already been approved for some other health professionals.
No mention was made of this very Germanic request of our members.
This further reinforces the insincerity among government officials that halted significant negotiations after the current stalemate.