NARD Strike: “Be realistic in your demands” – Abbas appeals to Doctors

Elizabeth AtimeJuly 25, 20234 min

The Speaker commended the Resident Doctors (NARD) for their enormous sacrifice in the health sector despite the poor working conditions.

 

NARD

 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas, has appealed to the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), to be realistic in their demands, pleading with them to shelve their planned strike and allow the House to intervene in the debacle.

As he also urged officials of NARD to be patient, while the House engage with the executive in order to address their demands amicably.

The Speaker who made the appeal at a meeting with the leadership of the NARD in his office on Monday, also commended the leadership of the doctors for meeting with the House in order to resolve the lingering dispute.

“This is most reassuring owing to the fact that the 9th Assembly had previously intervened in this matter. We hope to even go beyond the steps and actions taken by the previous House to ensure that we find a lasting resolution to the ever-lingering crisis,” he said.

 

READ ALSO: Medical/Dental License Bill: “Why we opposed the legislation” – NARD VP

 

 

Recall that the NARD, on May 17 embarked on a nationwide strike to press home its demands, requesting immediate massive recruitment of clinical staff in hospitals; immediate withdrawal of the bill seeking to compel medical and dental graduates to render five-year compulsory services in Nigeria before being granted full licenses to practise, amongst other things.

They also want the payment of all salary arrears, implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) salary structure and new hazard allowance and domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act, and payment of medical residency training fund to its members in state tertiary health facilities among others.

After suspending the strike, the doctors issued a fresh two-week ultimatum for the government to meet its demands.

The Speaker further said that the House was not unmindful of the many sacrifices resident doctors have continued to make in the nation’s health sector in spite of the many challenges they face and the poor conditions within which they work.

He assured that the House will deploy every legislative instrument available to it to ensure that they are fully compensated and rewarded for this act of patriotism.

 

 

READ ALSO: Brain Drain: Senator Oloriegbe advocates special categorisation for health workers

 

“We are not unmindful of the many sacrifices Resident Doctors have continued to make in the health sector in spite of the many challenges you face and the poor conditions within which you work. While many of your colleagues have left the shores of our country in pursuit of better working conditions, you have chosen to remain behind in service to the fatherland.

We commend you for this and assure you, that we would deploy every legislative instrument available to us to ensure that you are fully compensated and rewarded for this act of patriotism.

Given your faith in us, I would urge you to suspend the impending industrial action while we intervene. We equally seek your understanding of the fact that a new administration just came on board and is still in the process of settling down as Ministers are yet to assume office.

I encourage you to take advantage of this meeting to bare your minds on the issues at stake and suggest realistic solutions to them. We must approach these issues with an open mind and be guided by the fact that revenues available to the government may not fully meet our demands.

Therefore, we must find a middle ground that satisfies everyone without prejudice to the 2023 Memorandum of Understanding. We particularly note that your demands include the payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund, an upward review of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS), and salary arrears dating back to 2015. These issues and more can be resolved without embarking on an industrial action,” Abbas submitted.

After stating their position, the Speaker went into a closed-door meeting with NARD, representatives of the Ministry of Finance.

 

 

Elizabeth Atime

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