FG seals MoU with NMA, NARD to end doctors’ strike
The Federal Government and the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) as well as the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have entered a Memorandum of Understanding towards ending the five-day nationwide warning strike of resident doctors.
The MoU was signed at the end of a conciliation meeting convened by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige in his office on Friday.
The meeting which lasted for about five hours addressed all the eight issues raised by the striking resident doctors.
They are the non-payment of salaries of doctors by state governments, domestication of the reviewed Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) for the year 2023, the bill at the National Assembly on the bonding of doctors for five years before licensing, the circular on immediate replacement of exited doctors, and immediate payment of the 2023 MRTF.
The others are arrears of Consequential Adjustment on Minimum Wage, Skipping Arrears and the review of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS).
In the MoU released to journalists after the meeting, they agreed that health is on the Residual List and not the Concurrent List of the Constitution and hence, the Federal Government cannot compel the state governments to effect the payment of salaries and allowances in the health sector.
Consequently, NMA and NARD were advised to embrace more persuasion and social dialogue at the state level.
Regarding Abia State where doctors have been on strike for several months for perennial non-payment of salaries, the meeting noted that the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) has taken the matter to the National Council on Health (NCoH) in Abuja, which looked into the matter and asked the Abia State Government to pay up for good health delivery to the people.