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Resident doctors issue two-week ultimatum to FG, say demands still not met

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The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has issued a two-week ultimatum to the federal government for the implementation of all its demands.

Resident doctors embarked on a five-day warning strike in May due to the federal government’s refusal to meet the association’s demands.

Some of the demands include massive recruitment of clinical staff in hospitals; immediate infrastructural development in hospitals and an allocation of at least 15% of budgetary provisions to health.

Others are 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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But after a meeting with Chris Ngige, former minister of labour and employment, and the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), the doctors suspended their strike.

The association said it would review the progress made during its ordinary general meeting (OGM) in June.

‘UPWARD REVIEW TO 550%’

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In a communique on Wednesday after its extraordinary national executive council (NEC) meeting, NARD said it observed with disappointment, that it is now seven weeks since the end of the five-day warning strike and the resolutions are yet to be implemented.

The association also noted that the parameters used in arriving at a demand for minimum of 200% increase in CONMESS has significantly changed, following the removal of fuel subsidy and the massive increase in the general cost of living.

“Using the current parameters, for us to be returned to the same expenditure level of CONMESS when it was implemented in 2014, an upward review to the tune of 550% is required,” the communique reads.

“NARD demands the immediate payment of all salary arrears, implementation of the CONMESS salary structure and new hazard allowance and domestication of the medical residency training act.

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“NARD also demands payment of the medical residency training fund to our members in the state tertiary health institutions nationwide.

“NEC hereby wishes to further extend her already expired ultimatum issued to the government by 2 weeks with effect from today 5th July 2023.

“The NEC of NARD insist on the immediate implementation of minimum of 200% increment in the CONMESS salary structure and upward review of the associated allowances as requested in her previous letters on the subject matter, since the current economic realities in the country cannot justify the continued payment of CONMESS as it is at the moment or any increment below the 200% as demanded.

“For purposes of emphasis, at the expiration of this further extended ultimatum by 19th of July 2023, if all these demands are not met, we cannot guarantee industrial harmony in the health sector nationwide.”

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