By Babs-Oluribigbe Adeoye
The meeting between federal government and the National Association of Resident Doctors seems to have brought forth a dint of hope.
The NARD leadership after the long hours meeting hinted on Friday that area of concerns which led to the strike were considered and addressed.
NARD’s National President, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, said the association is satisfied with the outcome of the meeting but added that the association cannot call off the strike until consultations are made with its executive council.
He however expressed hope that the strike action may be called off on Saturday.
The Minster of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige said after the meeting that a five-person committee has been set up to look into some of the doctors’ demands.
The committee includes NARD’s National President, Secretary-General of the Nigerian Medical Association, and one representative each from the Ministries of Labour and Health.
The committee is expected to look at the non-payment of House Officers’ salaries within 72 hours and produce a valid list to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), through the Federal Ministry of Health.
Ngige said, on the issue of salary shortfall of resident doctors from 2014 to 2016, the meeting resolved that NARD and the Committee of Chief Medical Doctors should immediately submit a list of affected institutions and personnel strength, for it to be captured in the 2021 supplementary budget, with arrears from April 2019 to December 2019, as contained in the memorandum of action.
Also, on the issue of hazard allowance, the Minister directed that NARD should submit a position paper at the April 14 meeting between the Presidential Committee on Salaries, the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, the Nigeria Medical Association, and the Joint Health Sector Union, expected to hold at the Federal Ministry of Labour.