By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) says it is giving two weeks ultimatum to the Federal and State Governments to fulfil its lingering demands before situation escalates.
Dr Godiya Ishaya, the President of the association issued the ultimatum during a press conference organised at the end of the Extraordinary National Executive Council (E-NEC), Meeting held in Ilorin on Sunday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the E-NEC meeting which was hosted by the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) had in attendance 79 chapters of the association from both the State and Federal Tertiary Health Institutions across Nigeria.
According to Ishaya, the association resolves to further extend ultimatum by another two weeks after observing the Federal Government’s efforts as a show of goodwill from NARD.
“This we believe will give the Federal Government adequate time to substantiate their efforts with results which will avert industrial harmony,” he said.
The NARD president demands that the Federal Government urgently implement and commence payment of the 2022 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) in full to members using the old template, while the shortfalls, using the reviewed template be computed and incorporated into 2023 budget and paid in arrears.
He observed that the association will continue to work closely with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) towards implementation and payment of the new hazard allowance to all affected healthcare workers by the government.
He lamented at the slow pace encountered in the payment of the 2020 MRTF to members who were omitted, while decrying the worsening spate of brain drain in health care system leading to a perpetual shortage of manpower with attendant burnout.
“The deplorable situation has led to the shutdown of the Federal Medical Centre, Owo,” he said.
He added that the association is also concerned about the conditions of members in various state government hospitals including Abia, Ekiti, Imo and Ondo, which he said had remained unchanged, where members are owed salary arrears spanning for months.
Ishaya, however, commended efforts made by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and National Salaries Income and Wages Commission towards the upward review of the MRTF.
He appealed to government not to delay further the implementation and payment of the newly upgraded Hazard Allowance since its circularisation by the Federal Government on Dec. 22nd, 2021.
Ishaya added that the ultimatum will be duly communicated to government to ensure resolutions is reached, and further escalations are averted.
He, therefore, “appealed to well meaning Nigerians to intervene in the terrible and deplorable conditions of members in the affected State Tertiary Health Institutions”. (NAN)
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