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Doctors sign MoU with FG as parties agree states can’t be forced to meet welfare demands

Doctors sign MoU with FG as parties agree states can’t be forced to meet welfare demands
May 20
21:58 2023

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the federal government.

The MoU was signed on Friday during a meeting at the office of Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment.

Uche Ojinmah, NMA president, and Innocent Orji, NARD president, signed on behalf of the doctors.

NARD began a five-day warning strike on Wednesday following the refusal of the federal government to meet its demands such as massive recruitment of clinical staff in the hospitals, immediate payment of the 2023 medical residency training fund (MRTF) and the immediate increment in the consolidated medical salary structure (CONMESS) to the tune of 200% of the gross salary of doctors.

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Olajide Oshundun, spokesperson of the ministry of labour, said parties agreed during the meeting that the federal government cannot compel state governments to effect payment of salaries and allowances in the health sector.

Ngige said the federal government also could not compel state governments to domesticate the Medical Residency Training Act.

He advised NARD to reach out to states that are not paying and negotiate with them, even if the rates are lower than that of the federal government.

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“The meeting also discussed the bill on bonding of doctors for five years before licensing, sponsored by Ganiyu Johnson,” Oshundun said.

“It was agreed that the executive arm of government could not interfere with it being a private member’s bill and not an executive bill.

“The meeting resolved to await the public hearing on the bill, where the doctors will deal with it through the NMA to ensure it does not see the light of day.”

Meanwhile, the NARD president told TheCable that the resolutions reached at the meeting and the MoU signed will be discussed with the association’s national executive council (NEC) on Sunday.

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He added that signing the MoU did not translate to calling off the strike as only the NEC can call off a strike.

“What usually happens after such a meeting, an MoU is signed to confirm the things discussed in that meeting. There’s usually a clause in the MoU that whatever is being signed will be taken back to the NEC for discussion and to determine the next line of action. That was in the MoU we signed,” he said.

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