In the wake of an ongoing strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, the Federal Government has approved the payment of N25,000 peculiar allowance for medical and dental doctors in hospitals, medical centres and clinics in the federal public service.
This was disclosed in a circular dated July 26, 2023, and titled, “Accoutrement allowance for medical and dental doctors in hospitals, medical centres, and clinics in federal MDAs,”
The circular follows NARDs’ recent declaration of an indefinite strike action through its president, Emeka Orji, on Wednesday, July 25.
NARD cited the Federal Government’s failure to meet its demands.
Prior to the indefinite strike, the resident doctors association had on May 15, declared a five-day warning strike to help get the attention of the Federal Government, while hoping to receive response on their demands but the Federal Government did not bother to reach out to them.
It was at the expiration of the five days warning strike that the resident Doctors association, at it’s July National Executive Council meeting which held in Lagos on Tuesday night, unanimously agreed to embark on a total indefinite strike.
The development was announced by the associations’ president, Emeka Orji on Wednesday morning.
NARDs’ decisive measures have thus, been considered fruitful as the Federal Government is already making efforts to address their concerns.
Recall that in less than 24 hours after NARD declared strike, the leadership of the House of Representatives led by the honourable speaker, Tajudeen Abas reportedly held a meeting with some members of the striking doctors’ professional body, NARD in a bid to provide solutions to the pending issues.
The outcome of the meeting was also reported to President Tinubu who through the Speaker, disclosed that the Federal Government’s delay was because it was yet to roll out palliatives on the effect of subsidy removal of petrol.
The presidency explained that it is threading it’s path carefully because it doesn’t want to make mistakes.
Wadupsongz reported on Wednesday that NARD was embarking on an indefinite strike over the Government’s inability to address its concerns.
These concerns include immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), release of the circular on one-for-one replacement, payment of skipping arrears, and upward review of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) to the 2014 value, with full salary restoration.
Additionally, the demands include payment of arrears of consequential adjustment of minimum wage to the omitted doctors, reversal of the downgrading of the membership certificate by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), payment of new hazard allowance, skipping and implementation of corrected CONMESS in State Tertiary Health Institutions, and payment of omitted hazard allowance arrears.
Relatedly, the July 26, 2023, circular revealed that the newly approved 25,000 naira allowance is to be paid from the overhead budget.
It read: “The Federal Government has approved the payment of an accouterment allowance of N25,000 per quarter to medical and dental doctors in hospitals, medical centres, and clinics in the federal public service. The allowance is to be paid from the overhead budget.
“The approval takes effect from June 1, 2023. All inquiries relating to this circular should be directed to the commission”
NARD in it’s series of strikes since 2013, has recorded a total of 159 days, making it the only association of workers in the nation’s health sector that has embarked on industrial action beyond 100 days within the period. This is according to media reports.