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Strike May Be Called Off On Saturday, Doctors Say After Meeting With FG

The National Association of Resident Doctors has said it may call off its strike on Saturday after meeting with federal government representatives in Abuja.

The meeting, which lasted for over six hours, sought to address area of concerns which led to the strike embarked upon by the doctors on April 1.

NARD’s National President, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, said the association is satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.

He however said the association cannot call off the strike until consultations are made with its executive council.

He added that the strike, hopefully, will be called off on Saturday.

After the meeting, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said 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.

On the issue of salary shortfall of resident doctors from 2014 to 2016, Ngige said 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.

Similarly, on the issue of hazard allowance, the Minister directed that NARD come up with a position paper which should be submitted at the meeting between the Presidential Committee on Salaries, the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, the Nigeria Medical Association, and the Joint Health Sector Union on April 14 at the Federal Ministry of Labour.

Other issues the meeting considered are abolishment of the bench fees, residency training allowance, group life insurance payment and payment of residents on GIFMIS platform

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