The Federal Government has been given a two-week deadline to start implementing all outstanding agreements, according to the national leadership of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
The National Executive Council (NEC) issued the ultimatum in a communiqué at the conclusion of a three-day emergency meeting held at the Federal Medical Centre in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The resident doctors also asked an increase in the budgetary allocation for the health sector from the current 5.7 percent to 15 percent annually in order to address the existing infrastructure decay and, among other things, to fill the vacuum left by the current brain drain in the industry.
“NEC resolved to issue the Government 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,” the communiqué said.
The Consolidated Medical wage Structure (CONMESS) wage structure should be immediately increased by 200 percent of doctors’ present gross salaries, according to one of its demands.
The doctors claim that the extra allowances included in the letter NARD wrote to Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, on July 7, 2022 for the review of CONMESS are in addition to the desired adjustment of the compensation structure.
The NARD leadership further asked that Ganiyu Johnson, a member of the Lagos State House of Representatives who represents Oshodi/Isolo Federal Constituency II, immediately withdraw and renounce his “ill-conceived” bill on the alleged forced labor of young medical professionals in Nigeria.
In accordance with the agreements reached at the stakeholders’ meeting called by the Federal Ministry of Health, it also demanded the early payment of the Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) for 2023.
The communiqué continued, “This should be done without further delay.”
Additionally, it demanded that all salary arrears owed to NARD members, including those from 2014, 2015, and 2016, as well as certain areas of the minimum wage’s consequential adjustment, begin to be paid.
See the complete statement below:
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