Connect with us


Doctors’ strike: NMA disagrees with FG on payments, agreement



The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has disagreed with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, concerning statements he made with regards to the payment of Resident Doctors. The Association disclosed that the Minister had stated during an interview on Channels Television that Resident Doctors in the United States of America (USA) and other developed countries were responsible for the payment of their residency training programme, whereas in Nigeria they are paid by the government.

Describing Ngige’s speech as hate speech capable of destroying an already struggling health system, the NMA argued that Resident Doctors in those countries were being paid by their employers. The President of the NMA, Prof Innocent Ujah, made these known in a statement jointly signed by the Secretary General of the NMA, Dr Philip Ekpe, yesterday in Abuja.

“The attention of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has been drawn to a recent live interview granted on Channels TV on Friday, 2nd Apni 2021, by the Honourable Minister of Labour and Productivity, HE, Senator Dr Chris Ngige OON. In the interview, the Honourable Minister alleged that in the United States of America (USA) and other developed countries, Resident Doctors pay for their residency training abroad, whereas in Nigeria, the government pays them.

“In the United States of America and other developed countries, Resident Doctors work as they are being trained and they are paid by their employers. In the United Kingdom, the employer of Resident Doctors is the NHS, which is similar to what is obtainable in Nigeria. Furthermore, Residents also pay to take their postgraduate Medical examinations in the developed countries, which is what also obtains in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Ngige has faulted the rejection of the Memorandum of Action signed Wednesday last week by the President of NARD, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi.  He said the Federal Government is committed to implementing the agreement reached with the leadership of the National Association of Resident Doctors. The minister explained that some of the demands by NARD were made in error as some of the issues were already conciliated and implemented hundred percent.

He however stated the outstanding issues which came up at the last conciliation, were given a month life span of implementation, saying that “they are still work in progress.” The statement said, “NARD made some of the demands in ignorance. They didn’t have the full picture. May be they wished for a strike or their president pushed them into strike so that his name will go into the annals of NARD as one of the tough presidents that has taken them on strike. That’s wrong.

“He didn’t participate in most of the discussions last Wednesday because he fell ill not quite long after the meeting started and had to excuse himself. He handed over to his deputy, the secretary General and other officers of the association, who fully participated. We spent seven hours and by the time we put our signatures to the papers, it was eight hours. Disowning the MoA duly negotiated is unknown to labour. The two parties to the negotiation signed the MOA.  Four officers from government and three from NARD signed the document, and the President who was not at the meeting but fully represented by deputies went to NARD’s NEC and disowned the paper because they were signed by his deputy and secretary general.

He expressed disappointment that NARD made a detour and mobilised members into action on the Eastertide, when Christians are observing the holiest week in their universal calendar.

Ngige dismissed as untrue, allegation that doctors  in the public health institutions across the country, were not insured and  said the Federal Government  spent N13.3 billion naira in 2020, on Group Life Insurance not just for doctors and health workers alone but also for all workers in the federal civil and public service.

Speaking on the Medical Residency Programme which is the major reason for fresh action by NARD, the minister declared that the programme has been working hitch-free since it came up in 2019. He said the House of Representatives had to do a supplementary appropriation to accommodate it in 2020 Covid-19 budget and the funds, fully released by the Federal Ministry of Finance. He therefore urged doctors to respect the Hippocratic oath which makes the wellbeing of patients cardinal.

Click to comment

Notice: Undefined variable: user_ID in /var/www/first2023/wp-content/themes/firstweekly/comments.php on line 48

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Cancel reply