The president of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, says Senator Chris Ngige, minister of labour, has lost “touch with medicine”.

The National Association of Resident Doctors has said it may call off its strike on Saturday after a meeting with representatives of the Federal Government and federal lawmakers.

The National President of NARD, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, gave the indication after the meeting on Friday.

The meeting, which lasted for over six hours, sought to address area of concerns, which led to the strike embarked upon by the doctors on April 1.

Okhuaihesuyi said the association was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.

He however said the association cannot call off the strike until consultations are made with its National Executive Eouncil.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said a five-person committee has been set up to look into some of the doctors’ demands.

The committee members include NARD’s National President, Secretary-General of the Nigerian Medical Association, and one representative each from the Ministries of Labour and Health.

The committee is expected to look at the non-payment of House Officers’ salaries within 72 hours and produce a valid list to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System through the Federal Ministry of Health.

On the issue of salary shortfall of resident doctors from 2014 to 2016, Ngige said the meeting resolved that NARD and the Committee of Chief Medical Doctors should immediately submit a list of affected institutions and personnel strength for it to be captured in the 2021 supplementary budget, with arrears from April 2019 to December 2019 as contained in the memorandum of action.

On the issue of hazard allowance, the Minister directed NARD to come up with a position paper which should be submitted at the meeting between the Presidential Committee on Salaries; National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission; NMA; and Joint Health Sector Union on April 14 at the Federal Ministry of Labour.

Other issues the meeting considered are abolishment of the bench fees, residency training allowance, group life insurance payment and payment of residents on GIFMIS platform.

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