By Victor Ahiuma-Young
The Federal Government and the National Association of Resident Physicians (NARD) They have reached an agreement that raises the hope that the striking doctors will be able to end their strike at any time from today.
The agreement was signed on Friday after a conciliation meeting between both parties in the office of the Minister of Labor and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, refined the Memorandum of Action (MOA) signed by both parties on March 31, 2021, within a few hours. before NARD embarked on the indefinite strike on April 1.
The NARD leaders are expected to communicate to the Minister of Labor and Employment the result of their internal meeting before the end of today on the situation of the strike.
Friday’s meeting had addressed the six demands of the NARD, namely non-payment of house officials / lack of hiring of house officials, abolition of banking fees, lack of payment of arrears of the consequent adjustment of the national minimum wage, the assignment for residency training, Assignment of risks and payment of resident physicians on the GIFMIS platform.
In briefing after the meeting, Ngige said they noted that the payment of salaries of House officials experienced some irregularities as double payments were made to some house officials in some centers and some have not been paid to date. .
According to the Minister, in view of this situation, a Committee of 5 people was created to harmonize the list of names submitted by NARD, President, Committee of Chief Medical Directors (CCMD) with MDCN.
He explained that the Committee should work for 72 hours and produce a valid list for IPPIS through the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), while IPPIS should create as soon as possible a platform where all payments made and recipients would be available. for accessibility and information, without which it would be difficult to determine who has been paid and who has not.
“IPPIS should adopt the folio number of H / Os as a means of identifying them while they are being hired and for their payments.”
On the abolition of bank fees that was previously agreed as part of the MoA, Ngige said that the FMoH Permanent Secretary will issue a circular to this effect and send a Memorandum on this for ratification by the National Health Council (NCH) when it is summoned.
Regarding the non-payment of arrears in the consequent adjustment of the national minimum wage and salary deficit in 2014 – 2016 of resident physicians, Ngige said that NARD and CCMD should immediately present a list of affected institutions and staff strength to included in the Supplementary Budget 2021. Arrears must be from April 2019 to December 2019 as in MoA1.
“The CCMD and the Permanent Secretary of the FMoH should work on this with the assistance of the Office of the Budget (BoF) to also include it in the Supplemental Budget 2021. The special issue of 2014-2016 Salary Shortfall will also be covered here. Two (2) weeks are dedicated to this. “
On the issue of the resident training grant, he said 558 non-residents were incorrectly paid and 1003 bona fide residents were not paid.
It revealed that those not paid will be captured in the 2021 Supplemental Budget, while those paid incorrectly will be asked to reimburse it.
“The Office of the General Accountant of the Federation (OAGF) will provide a special account for this remittance. From now on, the Graduate School of Medicine must compile the list of all residents eligible for this payment and transmit it to the Budget Office (BoF) through the Federal Ministry of Health. “
Addressing the issue of risk allowances, he said the meeting noted that the problem is not unique to NARD, but affects the entire healthcare sector and its workforce.
The meeting was informed that the Presidential Salary Committee (PCS) would meet on Monday, April 12, 2021 at the Federal Ministry of Finance to discuss the issue of risk allocation with the National Commission on Wages, Income and Wages (NSIWC ), after which the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), NARD and other stakeholders will meet on Wednesday April 14, 2021 at the Federal Ministry of Labor (FML & E) with their documents position with the PCS. NARD will come with your position paper as part of the NMA team.
“In group life insurance claims for deceased NARD members, NARD should facilitate the compilation of the list of deceased members by CMDs at the appropriate counter at their institutions. This will be forwarded to the appropriate insurance companies for payment through the FMoH. This should be achieved no later than the end of April 2021. “
On the issue of doctors being paid on the GIFMIS platform, he said the meeting noted that NARD is happy with the progress made to migrate affected doctors to the IPPIS platform before the end of April 2021, adding that IPPIS confirmed that one week after getting the BoF verified listing, the payment will be made.
“In view of these understandings, the NARD Committee of National Officials (NoC) will urgently consult its Executive Council with a view to giving this conciliation process an opportunity for industrial peace by suspending the strike that began on April 1, 2021 .
NARD must communicate its decision to the Honorable Minister of Labor and Employment before 12 noon on April 10, 2021. No member of NARD should be punished for this strike, ”said Ngige.