Resident doctors knock Abia over 26-month unpaid salaries

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The National Association of Resident Doctors has decried the non-payment of its members’ salary arrears by the Abia State Government.

It said its members were owed salary arrears for 26 months.

The association also decried the condition of its members in Imo, Ondo, Ekiti, and Gombe states, who it said were owed 10, five, three, and two months’ salary arrears, respectively.

It, however, urged the Federal Government, Nigerian Governors’ Forum, stakeholders, and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the governors of Abia, Imo, Ondo, Ekiti, and Gombe states to urgently pay the arrears of salaries and allowances owed their members in the state tertiary health institutions, as the situation was becoming embarrassing.

In a communiqué issued on Saturday at the end of its national executive council meeting and scientific conference held in Lafia, Nasarawa State, and jointly signed by the association’s President, Dr Dare Ishaya; its Secretary General, Dr Suleiman Abiodun; and Publicity Secretary, Dr Yusuf Alfa, and made available to our correspondent, NARD said, “The NEC observed with utmost displeasure the spate of abuse and assault against doctors and the changing narrative from attacks being carried out by patients/patient relatives, to being committed by other healthcare workers.

“The NEC lamented the acute manpower shortage in most tertiary health institutions occasioned by the ongoing massive brain drain and the physical and mental burnout effects on our members across the country,” the communique read in part.

“The NEC observed that the skipping arrears covering 2014, 2015, and 2016 have remained unpaid despite several negotiations with the Federal Government over the matter. The NEC noted that several years after the implementation of a new minimum wage in 2019, some of our members are yet to benefit from the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage.

“The NEC observed the need for the review of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure and other related allowances due to the current economic situation in the country which had led to super inflation and devaluation of the currency causing untoward hardship on our members,” it said.

While commending Governor Abdullahi Sule on the domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act 2017, and commencement of payment of the MRT Fund to doctors at Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, NARD lamented the poor response of most state governments in domesticating the MRTA.

It added, “The NEC urges the Federal Government to expedite action on the payment of the skipped arrears for 2014, 2015, and 2016 to deserving members as the patience of the association is waning concerning this matter. The NEC demands immediate payment of consequential adjustment of minimum wage to our members who have been deprived of this benefit since

It was implemented several years ago.”

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