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After sealing pact, resident doctors end strike

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The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended its strike, which commenced on April 1.

Though the details of the suspension was not clear as at yesterday night, the President of the Association, Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, confirmed the development.

The Association had assured the Federal Government negotiation team on Friday that relevant bodies of NARD would meet yesterday to ratify the suspension.

The development came after both the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the Federal Government struck a deal to end the industrial dispute.

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The Memorandum of Action (MoA), which was signed in Abuja, concerned the non-payment of House Officers/non-recruitment of House officers, abolishment of Bench Fees, non-payment of National Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustment Arrears, residency Training Allowance, Hazard allowance and payment of Resident Doctors on GIFMIS platform.

The meeting noted that payment of House Officers’ salaries experienced some irregularities, as double payments were made to some House Officers, while a few have not been paid. Consequently, a five-man Committee was set up to harmonise the list of names submitted by NARD, Chairman, Committee of Chief Medical Directors (CCMD) with MDCN. The Committee was to work for 72 hours and produce a valid list to IPPIS through the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH).

IPPIS was mandated to create a platform where all payments made and the recipients would be provided for accessibility and information, without which it would be difficult to determine those that have been paid and those not paid.

IPPIS was also directed to adopt the folio number of H/Os as a means of identification, since they are being engaged and for payment. The bench fees have been abolished.

NARD and CCMDs should immediately submit the list of affected institutions and personnel strength to be captured in the 2021 Supplementary Budget to offset wage consequential adjustment arrears and Residents Doctors’ salary shortfall from 2014 to 2016. It was reported that 558 people were wrongly paid training allowances, while 1003 bonafide Residents were not paid.

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The meeting decided that those not paid would be captured in the 2021 supplementary budget, while those wrongly paid would be requested to refund same.

The meeting noted that the issue of hazard allowance is not peculiar to NARD, but cuts across the entire health sector and workforce. The meeting was informed that the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS) would be meeting on Monday, April 12 2021 to examine the matter with the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) after which Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), NARD and other stakeholders will meet on April 14 2021 with their position papers with the PCS.

NARD was requested to come with their position paper as part of NMA team. On Group Life Insurance claims for deceased members, NARD was advised to facilitate compilation of list of deceased members by CMDs, which will then be forwarded to relevant insurance companies for payment through FMoH with the mandate to conclude the process on or before the end of April 2021…

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