National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) has called on the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Linus Awute, and the Director of Hospital Services, Dr Patience Osinubi, to expedite action towards honouring agreements reached with the association by the federal government through the ministry.
The call which was contained in a communique issued after the 35th Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) and Scientific Conference, held at the Nondon International Hotel, Enugu State, was jointly signed by the NARD President, Dr Prince Dan-Jumbo; the Secretary General, Dr Daniel Gbujie, and the Publicity and Social Secretary, Dr Oluwajimi Sodipo.
During the OGM which was hosted by the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, several issues affecting resident doctors were raised, including non-payment of workers’ salaries, among whom are resident doctors in Abia, Osun, Oyo, Benue, Plateau and Lagos States; unilateral breach of agreement reached with the government on various issues affecting the association, among others.
NARD has therefore charged its striking members in various institutions to continue until the anomalies are corrected. It also reiterated its stand on skipping allowances for its members, stating that “any hospital where non-doctors skip, residents’ doctors must skip, to ensure universal application, and ensure harmony in all hospitals”.
NARD has also mandated its members in all public hospitals to form a stakeholders’ committee as soon as possible, the role of which is to make in-depth assessment of the cost of monthly payment of personnel in order to ascertain the possibility of the commencement of skipping allowances for its members.
The communiqué read in part: “that all hospitals should as a matter of urgency convoke a stakeholders’ committee comprising state NMA, MDCAN, ARD and representatives of management as agreed on the 27th of May to freely examine the records of personnel monthly payroll, cost implications and the personnel budgetary allocation of 2015 in order to ensure payment of skipping for doctors”
Funding for residency training was also discussed as the association had saddled the government with the responsibility of including residency training fund in the annual budget, as agreed with the federal government and effected in the 2013 and 2014 budgets.
Implementation of employer’s contribution to the Pension Fund was also highlighted, following reports that some institutions were defaulting in this aspect. The association therefore called on the Federal Ministry of Health in liaison with the Ministry of Finance to ensure the payment of the employer’s contribution to the Pension Fund as it affects resident doctors in ISTH Irrua, FETH Gombe, UBTH Benin, AKTH Kano, among others.
The re-enrolment of resident doctors and all civil servants onto the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) was also deliberated upon. It was agreed that the federal government should fast-track the exercise, which has been described as a veritable tool for personnel cost control and corruption-curbing in public service.