The Federal Government and the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, on Wednesday night with a view to resolving the ongoing national strike by resident doctors.
Following the MoU, NARD leaders are expected to meet today (Thursday) with a view to suspending the ongoing strike.
Below is the full text of the MoU, entitled: “UNDERSTANDING ACHIEVED BY THE END OF THE MEETING BETWEEN THE LEADERSHIP OF THE NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF RESIDENT PHYSICIANS (NARD) AND THE FEDERAL MINISTRIES OF HEALTH, FINANCE, NATIONAL BUDGET AND PLANNING, AND NATIONAL SALARY , INCOME AND WAGES COMMISSION (NSIWC) AT THE INSTANCE OF THE HONORABLE MINISTER OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT ON SEPTEMBER 9, 202O ”.
On September 7, 2020, members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Physicians (NARD) embarked on a total and indefinite strike at all federal and state hospitals in Nigeria over the following demands:
- ME. The provision of group life insurance for doctors and other healthcare workers and the payment of the benefit for death in service to the closest family members / beneficiaries.
- II. Universal implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act in all federal and state states
III. Immediate review of the health workers risk allowance and payment of the Covid-19 incentive allowance as agreed during the stakeholder meeting.
- IV. Immediate release of funds for medical residency training by 2020 as reflected in the revised appropriations bill.
- V. Payment of all arrears owed from the Consequent Adjustment of the National Minimum Wage to its affiliates, and execution of the same in the Tertiary Health Institutions of the States.
In accordance with the provisions of the Labor Disputes Act, CAP T.8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Honorable Minister of Labor and Employment held a conciliation meeting with the leaders of the NARD and the ministries, departments and Relevant government agencies (MDA) to address the claims and resolve the business dispute.
The meeting noted that the Federal Government had previously addressed most of the original eight (8) complaints made by NARD and the remaining two (2) were in different stages of resolution.
After extensive deliberations, the following understandings were reached on each of the claims:
1) Provision of personal protective equipment (PPE):
NARD agreed that hospitals and isolation centers now have enough PPE
2) The provision of group life insurance for doctors and other health workers and the payment of the benefit for death in service to the next of kin / beneficiaries:
The meeting noted that the Federal Government had paid the total sum of N9.3 billion (N9B, 3) to insurance companies for group life insurance and payment of death benefits for health workers. .
The inscription was carried out by means of the presentation of nominal lists by the diverse Health Institutions that had been entrusted to the NARD in the previous meeting. The meeting further noted that claims must be made before insurance benefits could be effective.
It was decided that the NARD should send copies of the claims already made to the Insurance Companies through the Hospitals to the Federal Ministry of Health for subsequent transmission to the Office of the Chief of Civil Service of the Federation who would ensure that the Insurance Companies pay claim (es. A copy must be made from the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment.
3) Universal implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act in all federal and state hospitals
Considering that the Appropriation Act of 2020 was revised due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the four billion Naira (N4B) allocated for residency training under an incorrect title for medical residency training must be vired before of the expense. Therefore, the amendment process is ongoing and this process and the cash back are expected to be completed in two (2) weeks.
4) Payment of outstanding arrears of 2014, 2015 and 2016:
The meeting recalled that it had been agreed that the issue would be discussed further after Covid-19. Therefore, no agreement was breached.
5) Implementation of the Payment of the Allowance for Special Risk / Induction
Meeting was satisfied that the N20B already allocated in the 2020 Covid-19 Budget has been exhausted for N19B and commended the Federal Government and Mr. President for approving additional N8,901,231,773.55 to pay the large part of Covid’s allocation -June 19, 2020 to all Medical Health Workers.
This has been supported in cash and the mandate was sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria for payments to start from today 9th September 2020. This would bring the total disbursement to around N28B.
6) New permanent risk allocation rate:
Discussions for the review of a permanent risk allowance for all healthcare workers will begin as soon as possible after consultations by the Honorable Minister of Labor and Employment with all stakeholders from the healthcare sector.
Based on the principles of ability to pay, this will cover all healthcare workers in a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). A meeting will be convened as soon as possible in this regard.
7) Payment of all arrears owed from the Consequent Adjustment of the National Minimum Wage to its affiliates, and implementation of the same in the Tertiary Health Institutions of the States:
It was pointed out that those affected were the members of the Youth Corps and the Chamber officials, who are considered ad hoc personnel. For state hospitals, the federal government can only be persuasive.
It was recalled that the NARD had been assigned the responsibility of submitting a list of non-compliant hospitals to the Federal Ministry of Health for subsequent transmission to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
8) Law of Domestication of Training in Residence by State Governments:
Recognizing the autonomy of the States within the Federation, the meeting agreed that the issue would be presented to the National Economic Council and the National Health Council to persuade the States to domesticate the Law.
9) Health Workers in Medical Centers attached to Universities:
The meeting agreed that these workers had been linked to the ongoing ASUU strike and that negotiations over them would take place on a different platform involving the Federal Ministry of Education.
In light of these understandings, NARD will consult with its Executive Council within the next 24 hours with a view to suspending the strike for tomorrow (today), September 10, 2020.
No one will be the victim of any activity related to the strike or by participating in it.