Resident Doctors issues two weeks ultimatum to FG over demands
UPDATE: DOCTORS ISSUE TWO-WEEK ULTIMATUM TO FG OVER DEMANDS
under the aegis of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to meet its demand.The ultimatum, according to a statement by the President of the NARD, Dr. Orji Innocent, after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, begins April 29 and expires May 13, 2023.
It stated that failure to meet its demand may result in a nationwide strike.
Among the demands of the doctors are: Immediate increment in the CONMESS salary structure to the tune of 200 per cent of the current gross salary of doctors; immediate withdrawal and jettisoning of the bill by Honorable Ganiyu Johnson seeking to make it mandatory for fresh medical graduates to provide services to the country for up to five years before receiving full registration and license to practice; *immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF); commencement of payment of all salary arrears owed to our members including 2014, 2015, and 2016 salary arrears as well as areas of the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage.
Other demands include: 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; immediate infrastructural development in our various hospitals without further delay and insists on at least 15 per cent budgetary allocation to health subsequently; immediate implementation of CONMESS, Domestication of MRTA, and review of hazard allowance by all the state Governments as well as Private Tertiary Health Institutions where any form of Residency Training is done, among other demands.
It said: “NEC observed that despite several engagements by NARD with the 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.
“This is against the background of the dwindling economic situation in the country, the serial abysmal decline in the value of the naira, the imminent removal of fuel subsidy, and the consequent damaging effect on the cost of living in the country."
“NEC observed 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.
“NEC observed the infrastructural decay in the health sector as well as the severe manpower shortage in the sector, noting that despite several requests by NARD, the Government has still refused to provide at least 15 per cent budgetary allocation to the health sector as contained in the 2001 Abuja Declaration for health care financing in Africa to which Nigeria is a signatory.
*“NEC described the current 5.7 per cent allocation in the 2023 budget as laughable for a country claiming to be committed to safeguarding the health of her citizens and nipping the challenge of brain drain in the bud.
“NEC demands immediate commencement of payment of all salary arrears owed to our members by the various state Governments, notorious amongst which is the Abia State Government.
“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.”