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Doctor’s Strike Is Insensitive – Ngige

Chris Ngige

Chris Ngige

The Forum of Chairmen of Health Institutions in Nigeria has described the ongoing strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors as very insensitive.

The Chairman of the Forum, Dr Sam Jaja who led the leadership of the forum to a meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige recently revealed this to the press.

According to him, the industrial action is definitely unjustifiable and unwarranted, especially since the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed on August 21 with doctors is on course.

Ngige added that the government has adopted a holistic approach to tackling the challenges in the health sector and FG just needs time.

His words, “The resident doctors are on the scheme of service against which obtained earlier. There was nothing like that we started practice.”

“Nigeria is also about the only country that has the Medical Residency Training Fund, backed up by an act, Medical Residency Training Act, passed into law by this administration in 2018. N4.8 billion is already in 2021 Service Wide Vote for this – to cover exam fees, books, travel to exam centres, and accommodation. We are battling to meet up the timeline on this.”

“As a matter of fact, the Residency Training Fund for 2021 is a borrowed fund. It is part of the deficit budget funded by the World Bank and IMF.”

“Now that the President has signed the law governing it, with signatures appended, we can access this fund through the CBN and from there to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget Office and to the Accountant General of the Federation. But it is not what you achieve in a day.”

“Take the issue of hazard allowance. It was even the Federal Government who noticed the paltry sum doctors and health workers receive and said No during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic last year. Considering the dangers they face, the government took the bull by the horn, approved, and released a jumbo, the sum of N32b as hazard allowance.”

“We felt this is commensurate with the dangers of the pandemic and immediately after, felt the need to re-negotiate and give them something more meaningful than the N5000 they were earning since 20 years and kept quiet.”

“Now that we have invited for re-negotiation, they turned round to make it an issue, claiming that the process is too slow, meanwhile, they are the ones causing the delay. NMA and JOHESU can’t agree on the table.”

“Right now, the two have written me to say they won’t negotiate together again. NMA said that they must compartmentalize into clinical and non-clinical and that the people who are clinical should take more money.”

“JOHESU said no, we don’t want clinical and non-clinical. We have clinical and non-clinical people but the hazard is the same because we are working in the same hospital environment. So , who do you blame for the delay ? Government or doctors and JOHESU?”


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