Gbajabiamila Decries Health Sector Brain Drain, Urges Urgent Action To Halt Trend

Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (right) with Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMAFC), Mohammed Shehu during a courtesy call by the management of the Commission on the Speaker on Thursday, 19 October 2022 at the National Assembly. Photo: Speaker’s Office.

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila, has expressed sadness over the brain drain phenomenon that has hit the medical sector in the country.

Gbajabiamila said a situation whereby over 2,000 resident doctors had left the shores of the country, with about 800 leaving in the last eight months, bringing the average to about a hundred medical doctors leaving the country monthly in search of better working conditions, was unacceptable.

He, however, said the time had come for the government to holistically address the issues responsible for the negative trend.


Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (5th right), Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Mohammed Shehu (5th left) with some members of the House and other RMAFC management staff after a courtesy call by the management of the Commission on the Speaker on Thursday, 19 October 2022 at the National Assembly. Photo: Speaker’s Office.

Speaking during a courtesy call to his office on Thursday by the executives of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), led by the President, Dr. Emeka Orji, Gbajabiamila, however, cautioned that the issue of funding must be properly situated within the context of the prevailing global economic situation since Nigeria is not an island.

Responding to the figures of the resident doctors that had left Nigeria due to poor remuneration, Gbajabiamila said, “That is a very scary figure and that is not very encouraging for a country of over 200 million people to have the core of your medical team, your young ones, resident doctors, leaving in droves like that, definitely something must be wrong.”

“You have identified that to be the issue of emoluments and salaries, that’s always a very important issue. If you work, you must get paid, and you must get paid a good salary.

“It’s also important that we put those things in context in terms of everybody’s need to get paid, and that’s very important. That’s one of the reasons, if not the most important reason why you work, because we all have families to take care of. But we must put it in the Nigerian context in terms of the revenues available to the country.

“This is a worldwide phenomenon, right now everything is going down. Countries are not making as much revenue as they should.

“And I’m sure a lot of doctors that leave the shores of Nigeria in search of greener pastures, many of them will be happy, many of them will also realize it’s not so easy on the other side either.”


Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (right) with Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMFAC), Mohammed Shehu after a courtesy call by the management of the Commission on the Speaker on Thursday, 19 October 2022 at the National Assembly. Photo: Speaker’s Office.

While commending those who decided to stay behind despite the situation, Gbajabiamila said, “What I would like to encourage you to do is to tarry a while, be a little bit more patient, and stay.”

“As long as you have our ears here as your legislature, we will always, as best as possible, come to your aid.”

“So, let’s put a stop to this brain drain as best as we can whilst we, on this side, try to make the environment a lot easier for you.”

Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (left) with his Special Assistant on Special Needs and Equal Opportunities, Abdulsalam Kamaldeen, who was recently conferred with national honour, Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) by President Muhammed Buhari in his office on Thursday 19 October 2022. Photo: Speaker’s Office

The Speaker also assured the association that the clamour for an increase in the budgetary allocation for the health sector to meet the 2001 Abuja Declaration of 15 per cent of the annual budget allocation to health would be looked into, being a critical sector of the economy.

While cautioning stakeholders against the tradition of equating the Ministry’s budgetary allocation to the entire budget of the sector, Gbajabiamila nevertheless assured that the House would ensure that the sector was not shortchanged in the allocation of resources to it.

He added: “We’ll have a look at what percentage we have in this year’s budget for the health sector. We got the budget about a week ago, I’m still going through it, but I will zero in on health to find out what the percentage is, and how far away we are from the Abuja Declaration.

“I cannot promise that here. If we have fallen short, we will augment it, I cannot make that promise because it depends on a whole host of other things, but we will try our best to at least, come close. We will try our best to look at it objectively within the context of the revenue that is available to the country.

“There are so many things going on right now. That’s where the sacrifice comes in. Oil theft, dwindling revenue, the Ukraine war, and so many other things and everybody’s competing for the lean revenue, but we know our priority areas, education, and health, are priority areas. We’ll do everything we can to make sure that as best as we can, we come as close to the Abuja Declaration, as we can”.


Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (right) with the president, National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr. Emeka Orji (left) during a meeting with executive members of the association who were on a courtesy visit to the Speaker at the National Assembly on Thursday, 19 October 2022. Photo: Speaker’s Office.

 

The Speaker also promised to look into the other demands of the group on adequate funding of residency training, restoration of the Overseas Exchange Programme, the need to amend the Medical Registration Act, and an upward review of the salary structure for resident doctors, all within available resources.

He urged the association to furnish his office with detailed information on some of the issues, saying, “I’d like to have some information on that in writing so that when we are making a case to the government we will be able to furnish them with even more details, to know exactly what case we are trying to make.”

To emphasise the place of the health sector in the scheme of things, the Speaker said, “The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the underbelly of our health sector, so we must not be caught napping again, and whatever we need to do, we must do.”


Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (4th left) with members of the executive of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), led by the president, Dr. Emeka Orji (4th left) after a courtesy call to the Speaker by the association on Thursday, 19 October 2022 at the National Assembly. Photo: Speaker’s Office.

Earlier, the President of the association, while appreciating the Speaker and the House for their successful interventions in NARD issues with the government in the past, Dr. Orji urged the Speaker to intervene in the brain drain syndrome that had hit the medical practice in the country due to poor working conditions.

He also presented to the Speaker other demands of the association on adequate funding of residency training, restoration of the Overseas Exchange Programme, the need to amend the Medical Registration Act and upward review of the salary structure for resident doctors, among others.

Abia Govt Yet To Pay 19 Months’ Salary Arrears To Our Members – Resident Doctors

The Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu

 

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has berated the Abia State Government over its alleged failure to pay the 19 months’ salary arrears to members.

NARD in a communique issued on Wednesday after its extraordinary National Executive Council meeting held at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital described the situation as disappointing.

“The NEC was disappointed but not surprised at the Governor of Abia State for failing to offset the nineteen (19) months’ salary arrears being owed our members in his state which he promised to pay over 23 days ago,” the communique partly read.

READ ALSO: Striking Doctors Refuse To Sign New MoU With FG After Six-Hour Meeting

The doctors also “frowned at the actions of the governors of Imo, Ekiti and Ondo states who are still owing our members 10 months, 6 months and 4 months respectively.”

It also decried a situation whereby 114 House Officers were yet to be paid their one to six months salaries.

Despite the unanimous disapproval and calling for the withdrawal of the circular removing the HOs from the scheme of service, the association described as surprising a situation whereby the Lagos State Government would go ahead to implement the same circular in the state.

On the hazard allowance issued to medical practitioners, the resident doctors said the N5,000 sum given to doctors, nurses and other health care workers is paltry.

“NEC recognized the public outcry occasioned by the ongoing industrial action. The Association is however constrained as the families of the 19 members who died during the COVID-19 outbreak while providing health care services are yet to get their death in service insurance.

“The NEC noted that despite the ongoing strike action of twenty-three (23) days, her members in twenty-three (23) centers under the GIFMIS Platform are yet to be migrated and captured on the IPPIS Platform with payment of an outstanding backlog of 3-4  months.

“They observed with dismay that despite the express instructions given by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the FMOH to sidestep all technicalities in resolving the issues of dispute between us and the government, not one item on the table has been resolved,” the communique stated further.

See the full communique issued by the resident doctors below: 

 

NARD/SG/2020-2021/250821/                                                                                    25th August 2021

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF AN EXTRAORDINARY NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (E-NEC) MEETING OF THE NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF RESIDENT DOCTORS (NARD) HELD AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BENIN TEACHING HOSPITAL ON THE 25TH OF AUGUST 2021

PREAMBLE

The Extraordinary National Executive Council (E-NEC) Meeting of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) held at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) on the 25th of August 2021 at 1:00 pm. It was both physical and virtual. The meeting had in attendance over 60 member centres of NARD, to discuss the issues bedeviling her members.

OBSERVATION

  1. The NEC appreciated the NOC for their effort concerning the welfare of members.
  2. The NEC noted the nonchalant attitude of appointees of the Government to the suffering of Nigerian Doctors.
  3. The NEC noted that despite the ongoing strike action of twenty-three (23) days, her members in twenty-three (23) centres under the GIFMIS Platform are yet to be migrated and captured on the IPPIS Platform with payment of an outstanding backlog of 3-4 months.
  4. They observed with dismay that despite the express instructions given by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the FMOH to side step all technicalities in resolving the issues of dispute between us and the government, not one item on the table has been resolved.
  5. The NEC was also embarrassed by the misinterpretation of the court ruling by the Federal Ministry of Labour, thereby misinforming the public that the National industrial court had ordered that the strike should suspended.
  6. The NEC noted that despite the health emergencies (COVID-19, Cholera and possibly Lassa Fever as we approach the dry season) ongoing in the Country, the supervising Minister of Health is yet to convoke an emergency meeting of the National Council on Health to look into the issues, in keeping with the National Health Act.
  7. The NEC painfully observed that issues bedeviling most of our State Tertiary Health Institutions are left unattended to despite the ongoing strike action. They noted that these issues can be solved through the National Council on Health.
  8. The NEC was disappointed but not surprised at the Governor of Abia State for failing to offset the nineteen (19) months salary arrears being owed our members in his state which he promised to pay over 23 days ago. They also frown at the actions of the governors of Imo, Ekiti and Ondo states who are still owing our members 10 months, 6 months and 4 months respectively.
  9. The NEC noted that one-hundred and fourteen (114) House Officers are yet to be paid their one (1) to six (6) months salaries.
  10. It was surprising to the NEC that despite the unanimous disapproval and call for the withdrawal of the circular removing the HOs from the scheme of service, the Lagos state government has gone ahead to implement same circular in the state.
  11. The NEC reiterated her displeasure over the paltry five thousand naira (5000) Hazard allowance given to Doctors, Nurses and other Health Care workers.
  12. NEC recognized the public outcry occasioned by the ongoing industrial action. The Association is however constrained as the families of the 19 members who died during the COVID-19 outbreak while providing health care services are yet to get their death in service insurance.

RESOLUTION

  1. After critical appraisal of the actions of both federal and state Government on all the issues affecting the welfare of our members as observed above and the perpetual insincerity from Government as evidence by the reckless exparte injunctions sought by the government and the ambiguity in the interpretation of the ruling of the National industrial court of Nigeria, NICN, the NEC unanimously agreed via vote to sustain the ongoing industrial action until her demands are met as contained in the MOA signed more than 140 days ago and the recent MOU signed between the government and NMA.
  2. The NEC reiterated her position that the circular from the head of service removing house officers from the scheme of service must be withdrawn
  3. The NEC demanded that an emergency meeting of the National Council on health be convoked to discuss these health emergencies and to fashion out ways to universally resolve all the issues affecting the state health institutions in the country.

APPRECIATION

On behalf of the entire 16,000 members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), the President and the National Officers committee express their heartfelt gratitude to the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for understanding the plight of the Resident Doctors.

Long live NARD

Long live NMA

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria

FG, Striking Doctors Meet Again In Abuja

Federal Government representatives met with striking resident doctors on August 21, 2021.
Federal Government representatives met with striking resident doctors on August 21, 2021. Friday Okeregbe/Channels Television

 

After more than nine hours of meeting behind closed doors on Friday through Saturday morning, the Federal Government and striking resident doctors met again on Saturday.

The adjourned meeting had been slated for 10 am on Saturday but didn’t commence until about 4.30 pm.

READ ALSO: [Doctors’ Strike]: NMA To Intervene As Ngige Meets Stakeholders

In his opening remarks, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, reiterated that all issues in contention have been deliberated and agreed upon.

According to him, the N4.802 billion provided in the 2021 supplementary budget has been gotten from the Central Bank and sent to the Budget Office for processing.

But it appeared the striking doctors were still not satisfied with the Memorandum of Action printed by the government for their signatures before journalists were asked to exit the meeting.

The doctors embarked on a strike on August 2 over unpaid benefits, among other issues.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has threatened to implement a ‘no work, no pay’ policy even as negotiations between both parties continue.

FG Doesn’t Negotiate Until We Go On Strike – Resident Doctor

 

The President of the Association of Resident Doctors at the National Hospital in Abuja on Monday said the Federal Government barely negotiates with health workers until an industrial action is introduced.

Dr. Akanimo Ebong, who is also the Senior Registrar at the National Hospital’s Department Of Obstetrics And Gynaecology, made the remark while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) had resumed its industrial action on Monday over unpaid salaries and benefits.

The doctors are also demanding the immediate withdrawal of a circular removing House Officers from the scheme of service.

They had embarked on an earlier strike in April, leaving many patients unattended across government-owned hospitals in the country.

The strike was suspended 10 days later after they met with Federal Government representatives.

But very little progress has been made since then, Dr. Ebong said.

“Usually there is no negotiation done, until we go on a strike,” he said.

“We have resumed our strike today. We never called it off, we only suspended it to give time for negotiations.

“But since we called off the strike on April 10, barely nothing has been done.

“When we are back at it, you know we’ve given a lot of time; we’ve tried to negotiate, we’ve tried to make the system work. But unfortunately, we are here again.”

Resident Doctors’ Strike Takes Toll On Hospitals Nationwide

 

The industrial action embarked upon by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to press home their demands for improved welfare is taking its toll on hospitals across the nation.

From Ogun to Delta to Kaduna State, activities in several federal government hospitals have been disrupted, Channels Television correspondents observed.

Resident doctors in some hospitals in Lagos State have also complied with the strike directive.

Channels Television paid a visit to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and the General Hospital, Gbagada, and a few patients were seen hanging around the hospital with some consultants and nurses offering skeletal services.

The President of the Association of Resident Doctors at LUTH, Dr. Oluwafemi Hassan, told Channels Television that the doctors are unlikely to resume until their demands are met.

“We are the largest branch of the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors and as such the compliance to the strike in LUTH has been excellent,” he said. “As we speak, most of the emergency areas, the wards and every area of the hospital where services are supposed to be delivered are deserted.

“Knowing that LUTH is a referral centre for most general hospitals and private hospitals in Lagos; whether there is a holiday or not, it is usually very busy here. But if you go around, you will see that most places, especially the emergency and the ward, are empty.

“And the few patients in the ward presently are not well taken care of because resident doctors are not around to give care.”

Dr. Hassan said discussions with the government are expected to resume on Tuesday, after the Easter holidays.

“Of course, we are hopeful that all the demands will be addressed so that we can resume as soon as possible,” he said.

The Demands

The doctors have called for the immediate payment of all salaries owed to all house officers, including March salaries (regardless of quota system).

They have also demanded the immediate payment of all salary arrears, including March salaries for members in all Federal (GIFMIS platform) and State Tertiary Health Institutions across the country, especially ASUTH, IMSUTH, and UNIMEDTH.

NARD is also seeking an upward review of the current hazard allowance to 50 percent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance, especially in state-owned-tertiary Institutions.

They are calling for the abolishment of the exorbitant bench fees being paid by their members on outside postings in all training institutions across the country with immediate effect.

According to the doctors, salary shortfalls of 2014, 2015, and 2016 should be paid to their members in all federal institutions, including state-owned institutions as earlier agreed with the government.

Among other demands, they have also asked for the payment of insurance for all health workers who died as a result of COVID-19 infection or other infectious diseases in the country.

‘No Work, No Pay’

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has threatened that it will implement ‘no work, no pay’ if the striking doctors refuse to resume after discussions.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said he expects such a decision is backed by law.

“By Tuesday, I will invite them back,” he said. “If they become recalcitrant, there are other things I can do. There are weapons in the Labour Laws, I will invoke them. There is no work, no pay.

“Their employers have a role also to keep their business afloat, to keep patients alive. They can employ local doctors. We won’t get there but if we are going to get there, we will use that stick.”

Federal Govt Approves Additional N8.9bn For June COVID-19 Hazard Allowance

 

 

An additional N8.9 billion has been approved by the Federal Government to pay up a large chunk of the June 2020 COVID-19 allowance to all Health Workers across the nation.

This was revealed by Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the end of the meeting between the Federal Government and the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ngige stated that the implementation of the payment of the Special Hazard and Inducement Allowance has been concluded, stressing that this has been cash-backed and the mandate sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria for payments to start with effect from September 9.

According to him, this will bring the total disbursement to about N288 billion.

READ ALSO: Why We Shut Down Four Oil Refineries – NNPC

On Wednesday, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the Federal Government reached an agreement in a bid to end the ongoing strike by health workers.

At the meeting that lasted almost the entire day, the association said it will consult its executive council within the next 24 hours, with a view to calling off the strike by Thursday.

Both parties had been locked in negotiations to resolve issues that led to the declaration of a nationwide strike on Monday.

Some of the issues revolved around the provision of group life insurance for doctors and other Health Care Workers, payment of death-in-service benefit to next of kin/beneficiaries, Universal implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act in all Federal and State, immediate review of the Hazard Allowance of Health Care Workers and payment of the Covid-19 Inducement Allowance.

But the Federal Government noted that eight of the demands made by NARD had been addressed and the remaining two were in different stages of being resolved.

After extensive deliberations, however, both parties reached several agreements.

They agreed that the Hospitals and Isolation Centres now have sufficient Provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

They also agreed that the Federal Government had paid the total sum of Nine Billion Three Hundred Million Naira (N9.3billion) to Insurance Companies for Life Group Insurance and payment of death benefits for health workers.

On the implementation of the payment of the special hazard/inducement allowance, the doctors said they were satisfied that the N20 billion already appropriated in the 2020 COVID-19 Budget has been exhausted to N19 billion and therefore, praised the Federal Government and the President for approving an additional (N8,901,231,773.55) to pay up the large chunk of the June 2020 COVID-19 allowance to all Medical Health Workers.

Among several other agreements, it was also agreed upon that nobody will be victimized for any activity connected with or for participating in the industrial action.

See the full list of deliberations below.

UNDERSTANDING REACHED AT THE END OF THE MEETING BETWEEN THE LEADERSHIP OF THE NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF RESIDENT DOCTORS (NARD) AND FEDERAL MINISTRIES OF HEALTH, FINANCE, BUDGET AND NATIONAL PLANNING, AND NATIONAL SALARIES, INCOME AND WAGES COMMISSION (NSIWC) AT THE INSTANCE OF THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT ON SEPTEMBER 9, 202O.

On September 7, 2020, the members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) embarked on a total and an indefinite strike in all Federal and State hospitals in Nigeria over the following demands:
i. The provision of group life insurance for doctors and other Health Care Workers and payment of death-in-service benefit to next of kin/beneficiaries.
ii. Universal implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act in all Federal and State.
iii. Immediate review of the Hazard Allowance of Health Care Workers and payment of the Covid-19 Inducement Allowance as agreed during the stakeholders’ meeting.
iv. Immediate release of funds for Medical Residency Training for 2020 as captured in the revised Appropriation Bill.
v. Payment of all owed arrears of the Consequential Adjustment of the National Minimum Wage to her members, and implementation of such in States Tertiary Health Institutions.

In line with the provisions of the Trade Disputes Act, CAP T.8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment held a conciliation meeting with the leadership of NARD and relevant Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to address the demands and resolve the trade dispute.

The meeting noted that the Federal Government had earlier addressed most of the original eight (8) demands made by NARD and the remaining two (2) were in different stages of being resolved.

After extensive deliberations, the following understandings were reached on each of the demands:

1) Provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
NARD agreed that the Hospitals and Isolation Centres now have sufficient PPE

2) The provision of group life insurance for doctors and other Health Care Workers and payment of death-in-service benefit to next of kin/beneficiaries:

The meeting noted that the Federal Government had paid the total sum of Nine Billion Three Hundred Million Naira (N9B,3) to Insurance Companies for Life Group Insurance and payment of death benefits for Health Workers.

Enrollment was by the submission of nominal rolls by the various Health Institutions which NARD had been mandated at a previous meeting to accomplish. The meeting further noted that claims had to be made before the Insurance benefits could be realised.

It was decided that NARD should submit copies of claims already made to the Insurance Companies through the Hospitals to the Federal Ministry of Health for onward transmission to the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation that would ensure that the Insurance Companies pay the claims. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment should be copied.

3) Universal implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act in all Federal and State Hospitals
Noting that the 2020 Appropriation Act was revised due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Four Billion Naira (N4B) appropriated for Residency Training under a wrong heading for Medical Residency Training is to be vired before expenditure. The process of amendment is therefore ongoing and is expected that this process and cash backing will be through in two (2) weeks.

4) Payment of outstanding 2014, 2015, and 2016 arrears:
The meeting recalled that it had been agreed that the issue would be further discussed post Covid-19. Therefore, no agreement was breached.

5) Implementation of the Payment of the Special Hazard/Inducement Allowance

Meeting was satisfied that the N20B already appropriated in 2020 Covid-19 Budget has been exhausted to N19B and praised the Federal Government and Mr. President for approving additional N8,901,231,773.55 to pay up the large chunk of the June 2020 Covid-19 allowance to all Medical Health Workers. This has been cash backed and the mandate sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria for payments to start with effect from today September 9, 2020. This would bring the total disbursement to about N28B.

6) Permanent New Rate Of Hazard Allowance:

Discussions for review of a Permanent Hazard Allowance for all Health Workers will commence as soon as possible after consultations by the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment with all Stakeholders in the Health Sector. Based on the principles of ability to pay, this will cover all Health Workers in a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Meeting will be convened as soon as possible in that regard.

7) Payment of all owed arrears of the Consequential Adjustment of the National Minimum Wage to her members, and implementation of such in States Tertiary Health Institutions:

It was noted that those affected were the Youth Corp Members and House Officers who are regarded as ad hoc staff. For State Hospitals, the Federal Government can only be persuasive. It was recalled that NARD had been assigned the responsibility to submit a list from the defaulting hospitals to the Federal Ministry of Health for onward transmission to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

8) Domestication of the Residency Training Act by State Governments:

Recognizing the Autonomy of States within the Federation, the meeting agreed that the issue would be tabled at the National Economic Council and National Council of Health to persuade the States to domesticate the Act.

9) Health Workers in the Medical Centers attached to Universities:

The meeting agreed that these workers had been tied with the ongoing strike by ASUU and negotiations concerning them would be on a different platform involving Federal Ministry of Education.

In view of these Understandings, NARD will consult with her Executive Council within the next 24hrs with a view to calling off the strike by tomorrow, September 10, 2020.

Nobody will be victimized for any activity connected with or for participating in the industrial action

……………………………….. ………………………………
Dr. Sokomba Aliyu Dr. Bilqis Muhammad
President, NARD Sec. Gen., NARD

………………………………… ………………………………….
Dr. Ekpe Philips Uche Ahmed Idris , FCNA
Secretary General, NMA Accountant General of the Federation

…………………………………………….. …………………………………
A. M. Abdullahi Dr. Yerima P. Tarfa
PS, Health PS, Labour & Employment

………………………………. …………………………
Sen. (Dr.) A. O. Mamora Barr. Festus Keyamo, SAN
HMS, Health HMS, Labour & Employment
………………………………………..
Senator (Dr,) Chris Nwabueze Ngige, OON
Honourable Minister, Labour & Employment

FMC Owo Resident Doctors Resume Indefinite Strike

Resident Doctors, NARDMembers of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State have resumed their indefinite strike.

The resident doctors had on June 27 2016 suspended their three week old strike as a result of the intervention of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara‎.

Addressing journalists at the hospital, the branch President of the Association, Dr. Ahmed Olanipekun, stated that they decided to embark on strike again due to the refusal of the management of the hospital to attend to their demands.

Dr Olanipekun said the demands include the regularisation of the employment of 22 casualised medical officers, replacement of casual officers with qualified resident doctors and the new clause in the appointment of house officers expunged.

Other demands include full payment of salary arrears of resident doctors and consultants from January, 2016, as well as the payment of all arrears of examination fees and upgrading fees.

Responding on behalf of the management of the hospital, the Acting Head of Clinical Services, Dr. Kunle Adesokan, said the corps members are employed based on the requirements of the hospital.

He added that the examination and other fees have been paid to doctors that applied last year and the payment for those who applied earlier are still being processed.

He equally appealed to the doctors to be patient as the fees is their entitlement, which cannot be denied them if available.

Doctors Strike: Patients Plead For End To Industrial Action

Health-workers-strikePatients at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State have called on the Federal Government and doctors to come to an agreement and call off the strike.

Channels Television, during a visit to the hospital, noticed that the usual hustle and bustle was absent, as only the Consultants, Senior Officers and Youth Corp Members were working and the orthopedic ward was occupied with patients, most of whom were accident victims.

The industrial action embarked upon by Resident doctors and the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) has resulted in paralytic service at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State.

Nevertheless, the patients expressed satisfaction on the services at the hospital in spite of the strike.

They also appealed to the Federal Government and the striking workers of the hospital to agree so that the industrial action may end and full services returned.

The acting Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Iliasu Ahmed, informed that the hospital has been receiving referrals from other hospitals from within and outside the state.

He added that the few medical personnel have been working hard to cope with the influx of patients.

Their plea came barely 24 hours before the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) called off the nationwide strike.

National President of the Association, Mohammed Askira, made the announcement during a press conference in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Saturday, June 25.

While stating that it’s decision was borne out of the need of alleviating the plight of Nigerians, who have been unable to access medical services during the period, he said official duties for the doctors will begin on Monday, June 27.