NMA Abia Calls on Federal government and its Agencies To make haste and resolve the ongoing strike by Resident doctors In Nigeria
The Nigeria Medical Association Abia state has called on the federal government and other relevant agencies in the crisis of resident doctors association to make haste and resolve the ongoing strike by Resident doctors ,so that they will go back to work .
This was made known by the chairman NMA Abia state ,Dr chimezie Okwuonu during a joint press conference on the ongoing strike by National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) ,held in Umuahia ,by the Leadership of NMA Abia state and Abia Resident Doctors FMC Umuahia chapter.
In his speech, the chairman NMA Abia state ,Dr Chimezie Okwuonu , expressed displeasure over the government and its agencies inability to amicably resolve the current industrial nation wide strike ,adding that ,”for 9 days now the Nigeria Association of resident doctors commenced the industrial nation wide strike , being the outcome of an extra ordinary NEC meeting of the association held on 27th of March ,2021 at the national hospital Abuja ,and that “the association observed at the meeting that the ultimatum given to federal government during the January 2021 NEC in Owerri would be expiring very soon by 12 mid night on the 31st of March 2021,with no significant achievement”
According to him,” The body reiterated her full support for the central placement of House officers and decried the agony that members are meant to pass in 3 months with payment of their of their salaries'”
.He however, revealed that the House officers are medical doctors at the lowest cadre of the medical profession, noting that ,” It has been observed that a good members of House officers find it difficult getting a placement for House manship ,both those that are trained internally and those that come in from outside country and that it has a lot of implications for their NYSC and subsequent future ambition of the doctor .So it was decided and approved by the Federal Executive council that they will apply centrally to the medical and dental council and be centrally placed for their house manship ‘”
Dr Okwuonu used the opportunity to expressed appreciation to the Governor of Abia State, *Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, for a fruitful interaction he had with “ARD Leadership with particular reference to the promised time frame action on 11 (20) months salary arrears, domestication of MRTA, Pan departmental Re-accreditation process and uninterrupted monthly salaries going forward” .
In his speech , the Assistant Secretary general National NMA South East ,Dr Ezuruike Ezinwa said that the on going strike by the resident doctors association is an avoidable one ,considering the fact that the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors took some good steps to ensure that the strike did not hold by sending an ultimatum and engaging government advocacies “
According to him,” Sadly ,we just have to make due with what we have, we have the consultants who are working and the medical officers from the principle medical officers ,who are not members of the association , so they are also working'”
He however regretted the negative effects of the strike on patients and the huge burden it is going to create on the few hands available in the hospitals compare with the patient load they will be having ,saying ,” that it is the best we can have for now and only pray and urge the government and its agencies involved to make haste and resolve this crisis”
In his speech ,the secretary of NMA Abia state, Dr Chima Ugwuanyi ,debunked the issue of resident doctors receiving double salaries as has been speculated in some quarters describing it as “sensational journalism, explaining that what happened was that the chairman House of Assembly committee on health situation, Dr Tanko Suleiman was addressing the D G on Budget office on some issues ,when he raised that concern that because of laxity on some part of health workers ,in the finance department of various hospitals, that some house officers receive double salaries,explaining that ,what he means is that a house officer who at a point in his service, decides to quit the services formally write his resignation to the hospital ,that he is quitting service ,but the finance department of that hospital will not do the needful by expunging his or her name from the pay role of the hospital ,rather what some do which can be verified and investigated is substituting the doctor’s account number with the ghost account number,so when the doctor gets work else where ,his account number will be receiving double salary ,the doctor may not be aware that some body is doing that on his name” he said .
He called for closer supervision from the finance department of various hospitals, so that the administrative lapses will be corrected and that the issue of IPSS system of payment will help solve the issue of double salary.
Earlier ,the President of the Association of Resident Doctors FMC Umuahia chapter ,Dr Chikezie Kelechi blame government for the strike ,saying the industrial nation wide strike ought to have been resolved long before now ,but for government insensitivity ,” we have waited for government for three months to sort out this salary arrears before this strike “