The Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), on Saturday appealed to the Federal Government to capture residency training funds in the 2020 appropriation bill.
The association’s newly-elected National President, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, made the appeal during his maiden press conference at the close of NARD AGM in Kaduna.
The association said that capturing the funds in the 2020 budget would enhance training and optimal performance of members in health services delivery.
Sokomba said that after the three days scientific conference and the AGM, the association resolved to take urgent steps to improve the working conditions of members at the state tertiary health institutions.
He said that the association would engage the various state governments and relevant stakeholders to advocate for the improvement in the working conditions of its members.
“The AGM noted the poor state of members in state tertiary health institutions, observed irregular payment of salaries, shortfalls and arrears of salaries dating back to 2014, and resolved to act immediately,” he said.
According to him, the AGM also observed that the universal health coverage of the National Health Insurance Scheme was still sub-optimal.
“The scheme also faces critical shortage of manpower in various health institutions, creating undue hardship and stress on its members.
“The situation is worsened by inadequate wages as well as poor working conditions in some of the states,” Sokomba fumed.
He said that the AGM reaffirmed resident doctors’ commitment to the full implementation of the September 2017 Memorandum of Terms of Settlement (MOTOS), with the Federal Government, and enjoined government to reciprocate NARD’s goodwill to enhance cordiality.
“It was further resolved that all accrued arrears of salaries owed NARD members should be paid within the shortest possible time to avoid labour dispute.
“We noted with concern the poor security state of our country, the incessant abduction of our members and assault at work places, especially the recent attack on our members at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital by some laboratory staff.
“NARD also urged the Federal government to make the issue of national security a priority,” he said.
The association said that it had changed its name from the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria to Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), after reviewing its constitution.
Other newly elected members included Dr Julian Ojebo, Vice President 1, Dr Sunday Owolabi,Vice president 11, and Dr Bilkis Muhammad, Secretary General.
Others included Dr Bright Chukwunta, Assistant Secretary General, Dr Terna Aule, Financial Secretary, Dr Michael Duromola, Treasurer, Dr Stanley Egbogu, PRO, Dr Lawson Obazen, Audtor, and Dr. Hameed Oyewo, Deputy PRO,
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that 74 chapters of the association attended the AGM which mainly deliberated on issues bordering on security, working conditions and welfare of members. (NAN)