By Simeon OSAJIE
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has issued a fresh two-week demand to the Federal Government over the implementation of a 200% increment in the salary structure of its members, amongst other demands.
NARD reached the resolution today, Wednesday 5th July, at a virtual Extraordinary National Executive Council Meeting (E-NEC) to appraise the level of implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the government on May 19, 2023, following a five-day warning strike embarked upon by the Association on May 17, 2023.
The communique was co-signed by NARD President, Orji Innocent, Secretary General, Chikezie Kelechi; and Publicity and Social Secretary, Umar Musa.
NARD called on the government to without further delay pay all outstanding arrears owed its members including the hazard allowance and the skipping arrears from 2014 to 2016, and the arrears of consequential adjustment of minimum wage.
The doctors said there is no justifiable reason for the government to keep owing their arrears and allowances.
The communique partly read: “We demand the immediate release and the implementation of the guidelines on one-for-one replacement of clinical staff to cushion the effect of the massive manpower shortage in our various hospitals nationwide.
“NEC calls on the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to discontinue the downgrading of the membership certificate issued by the West African Postgraduate Medical and Surgical colleges as this is not obtainable in other parts of West Africa where these same certificates are issued.
“NEC demands the immediate payment of all Salary Arrears, implementation of the CONMESS salary structure and new Hazard Allowance and domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act and payment of the Medical Residency Training Fund to our members in the State Tertiary Health Institutions nationwide.
“NEC hereby wishes to further extend her already expired ultimatum issued to the government by 2 weeks with effect from today 5th July 2023.
“The NEC of NARD insist on the immediate implementation of a minimum of 200% increment in the CONMESS (Consolidated Medical Salary Structure) salary structure and upward review of the associated allowances as requested in her previous letters on the subject matter since the current economic realities in the country cannot justify the continued payment of CONMESS as it is at the moment or any increment below the 200% as demanded.
“For purposes of emphasis, at the expiration of this further extended ultimatum by 19th of July 2023, if all these demands are not met, we cannot guarantee industrial harmony in the Health Sector nationwide.”