President of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Emeka Orji, says the request it made to the Federal Government (FG) is nothing near the N25,000 quarterly accoutrement allowance offered to cushion their needs.
Information Nigeria had reported that in a circular signed by Ekpo Nta, chairman of the national salary and wages commission, the federal government said it had approved the payment of an accoutrement allowance of N25,000 per quarter to medical and dental doctors in hospitals, medical centres and clinics in the federal public service.
“The allowance is to be paid from the overhead budget,” the circular read.
In another circular, FG said it had also approved a 25% increase in Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS).
However, Orji, in a chat with The Cable said the association rejects the allowance as it does not meet the doctors’ demands.
“In the letter we wrote to the federal government last year, we also asked for instrument allowances to be included. Many of the instruments in public hospitals were procured by doctors themselves. I buy instruments I use to operate my patients. These are things the government should be providing.
“These instruments also wear out and we need to replace them. Having this in mind, is it N25,000 per quarter that will be able to address it? What we requested for is nothing near what they offered and that is why we are rejecting it,” he said.
Recall also that in a communique on Saturday after a meeting of its National Executive Council (NEC) in Lagos, NARD conveyed the rejection of the 25 percent salary increase which it described as “paltry.”
“NEC has resolved to vehemently reject the paltry 25% increment in the basic salary of doctors as well as the accouterment allowance, adding that her earlier demand is for full restoration of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure to its right value as at the time of the approval of the structure in 2009,” the communique reads.
According to the association, it would continue the ongoing nationwide total and indefinite strike action until reasonable progress is made by the government to address its demands.
The association is demanding the immediate payment of the 2023 medical residency training fund (MRTF), release of the circular on one-for-one replacement, payment of skipping arrears, and upward review of the CONMESS by at least 200%.
Other demands include payment of the arrears of consequential adjustment of minimum to the omitted doctors, reversal of the downgrading of the membership certificate by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), new hazard allowance, and payment of omitted hazard allowance arrears.