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    Saturday, April 29, 2023

    Resident Doctors Give Two-Week Ultimatum Over Pending Agreements

    The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has threatened to shut down Nigeria’s health sector in the next two weeks if the Federal Government fails to address its demands including a 200 percent salary increment for doctors.

    The body also demanded “immediate withdrawal and jettisoning” of the bill which seeks to prevent Nigerian-trained medical doctors from being issued full practicing licenses or allowed to travel abroad for five years.

    NARD President, Dr Emeka Innocent, handed down the warning in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while reading the communique issued at the end of the Extra-Ordinary National Executive Council Meeting of the association.

    Innocent flanked by other leaders of the body expressed concern that “despite several engagements by NARD with government on the need to upwardly review the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) which was last reviewed over ten years ago, government has neither called NARD to the negotiation table nor taken any tangible step in addressing the issue.”

    He recalled that there had been previous ultimatums issued to the government by NARD on account of this problem of the review of the CONMESS salary structure.

    The NARD President said the body also frowned at “the deliberate refusal by the government to pay the salary arrears of 2014,2015 and 2016 to our members as well as the arrears of the consequential adjustment of minimum wage.”

    He said many state governors “are yet to implement the appropriate CONMESS structure, domesticate the medical residency training act (MRTA) or improve on the hazard allowance paid to NARD members.”

    In the nine-point resolutions, the body demanded an “immediate increment in the CONMESS salary structure to the tune of 200% of the current gross salary of doctors in addition to the new allowances included in the letter written by NARD to the Honorable Minister of Health on the 7th of July 2022 for the review of CONMESS.”

    Other demands are”Commencement of payment of all salary arrears owed our members including the 2014, 2015 and 2016 salary arrears as well as areas of the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage.

    “Immediate massive recruitment of clinical staff in the hospitals and complete abolishment of bureaucratic limitations to the immediate replacement of doctors who leave the system.

    “NEC demands immediate commencement of payment of all salary arrears owed our members by the various state governments, notorious amongst which is the Abia State government.

    “NEC resolved to issue a two week ultimatum beginning today, 29th April 2023, to resolve all these demands, following the expiration of which on the 13th May 2023, we may not be able to guarantee industrial harmony in the sector nationwide.”

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