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Resident doctors declare solidarity strike

Posted by By ENYERIBE EJIOGU on 2008/02/02 | Views: 400 |

Resident doctors declare solidarity strike


National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has said it would observe a one-day solidarity strike on Friday, 1st February, in support of the deadline given by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to the Federal Government, to resume serious discussion on the unresolved issue of medical salary structure for doctors in public service.

National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has said it would observe a one-day solidarity strike on Friday, 1st February, in support of the deadline given by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to the Federal Government, to resume serious discussion on the unresolved issue of medical salary structure for doctors in public service.

National President of NARD, Dr. Ladipo Adepoju, who addressed newsmen on the outcome of the emergency meeting of the association held at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, at the weekend, said that the move was necessitated by the Federal Government’s perceived “foot-dragging on the issue of appropriate remuneration for doctors, noting that decisions taken by the government regarding salaries had effectively cancelled the agreement it signed with the NMA in 1996, to the detriment of doctors in public service.

His words: “With respect to the medical profession, the government signed an agreement in 1996 which stated clearly that any increase in basic salaries in the health sector will not undermine the relativity of doctor’s salaries to the salaries of other health workers in the public service. This has, however, not been so over the years following the introduction of the Harmonized Public Service Salary (HAPSS) and Harmonized Tertiary Institutions Salary Scale (HATISS) and the subsequent award of 22 per cent increase in basic pay.

All these seriously undermined the salary of doctors, an injustice which it was hoped the Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Scale (CONTISS) would redress.”
He stated that the government’s decision on CONTISS “distorted the principle of relativity in the health sector wage structure as practiced worldwide.”

Under the present structure, he said that doctors had suffered a reduction in take-home pay, adding that this “negates all known labour conventions/laws which forbid any loss of income for any worker following any salary review exercise.”

He said that the association found it equally disturbing that “all allowances previously paid to clinicians for the clinical services they offer had been consolidated and now apply to persons who offer no clinical services.”

Continuing, he said that the CONTISS failed to take cognizance of the submission made by NMA to the Shonekan Panel requesting for a re-institution of the Medical Salary Structure (MSS) scale for doctors in Nigeria.

To redress the perceived injustice done to doctors, NARD declared its total support for the immediate withdrawal of the CONTISS circular, approval and re-institution of the MSS as demanded by the NMA.

Other demands itemized by the NMA include: creation of the Medical Service Commission, establishment of the position of a surgeon general, payment of arrears of monetization to all doctors and the inclusion of all doctors at the federal, state and local government levels as beneficiaries.

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