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. Commend Ikpeazu overpayment of 7-month salary arrears

By Steve Oko

Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, has called for the immediate review of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) in view of the current economic realities in the country.

The doctors who made the call after their 42nd Annual General Meeting held in Umuahia, Abia State, also called for 15% increased budgetary allocation funding of the healthcare sector in the country in line with the 2001 Abuja Declaration for healthcare financing in Africa, and global best practices.

NARD in a communique by its newly-elected National President, Dr Emeka Orji, regretted that the failure of the Government to adequately fund the health sector was the reason for the increasing brain drain plaguing the critical sector.

According to the NARD boss, an average of one medical doctor or health personnel leaves Nigeria every week in search of greener pastures abroad where the pay is much more attractive.

He warned that if no urgent steps were taken to stop and reverse the ugly trend, Nigeria might lose her entire medical manpower in the coming years.

The resident’s doctors commended Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu for paying seven out of 25 months’ salary arrears owed their colleagues at the Abia State University Teaching Hospital Aba ABSUTH.

The association which also commended the Abia Government’s promise to be paying the balance of two-month arrears every month until it is cleared urged other states owing doctors to pay up.

“The AGM calls on the Federal Government, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Stakeholders, and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the Governors of Ekiti (3 months), Imo (10 months) and Ondo (5 months) States to urgently pay arrears of salaries and allowances owed our members in their states.”

NARD further appreciated the Federal Government for the payment of the 2022 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), although it was “made at the old rate.”

It, therefore, urged the National Assembly to ensure its passage into the 2023 Appropriation Act to enable seamless payment of the arrears of 2022 and 2023 MRTF at the new rate.

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