The meeting between the Federal Government and the members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has ended in deadlock.
NARD Had Embarked On Nationwide Strike On Monday To Press Home Its Demands For Payment Of Hazard Allowance, Group Life Insurance, Payment Of Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustment, Among Others.
Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment during the meeting on Tuesday in Abuja noted that health workers are the essential frontline officers during the COVID-19 pandemic and have suffered great mishaps across the country.
According to him, “it is important to let you know that we have reached an agreement in many areas and the government side have shown evidence on the payment of the hazard and inducements allowances.
“We have paid those allowances since last night and it was directly paid into the account of recipients. So, we are hopeful that between the IPPIS office and the Central Bank, that before 24 hours they will all be credited for April and May.
“The payment is not for only Resident Doctors, but also for consultants, nurses, pharmacists, physiologists, mortuary attendants, ICU centers, and all health care workers in COVID-19 designated hospitals and all Federal Medical Centres in designated states.
“We assumed that these issues have been solved because IPPIS has shown evidence.
“We have also agreed on matters that are in court, that we should step them down, so that we do not enter areas that are in the purviews of the court.
“Also, on the issue of group life insurance and the employee compensation, we have assured them that they have been paid and we told them they have no right to make claims for the resident doctors or any other health workers that must have had a mishap in the course of work resulting in death.
”For those who do not die or have mishap or accidents in the course of their work but became incapacitated, they can always make claims through the Employee Compensation Act, which the Federal Government have already activated,” he said.
Ngige, however, said that the major issues have been taken care of while other minor issues such as the complaint about the Head Detention, Port Harcourt, the appropriation for residence programme, have also been taken care of.
He also noted that the Federal Government has assured the striking doctors that the appropriation for residence program has been captured in the 2021 budget and would roll over from 2020.