The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, was absent on Tuesday as the Federal Government delegation and the leadership of the National Association of Resident Doctors met to iron out issues in a bid to forestall a fresh strike by the association.
Recall that the association had in a communique issued on June 23, given a fresh four-week ultimatum to the federal and state governments to address its demands, including the payment of hazard allowances.
In a bid to prevent a fresh strike, Ehanire had reached out to the association and fixed a meeting for Tuesday.
But the NARD President, Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, told our correspondent on the telephone on Tuesday that the minister was represented at the meeting by the Director of Hospital Services, Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi, and some other top government officials.
“The minister was absent, but he was represented by the Director of Hospital Services, Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi, and we highlighted our demands and they also let us in on their plans,” he said.
According to the NARD president, the meeting, which lasted three hours, saw the Federal Government and NARD’s delegates ironing out issues affecting resident doctors across the country.
Uyilawa added, “As regards our members who are on the GIFMIS platform who have not been paid, we made them understand that there were seven institutions and they said they would have to write to the budget office.
“They also said they would have to write a letter to the Head of Service to enable the doctors in those institutions to go through capturing and verification processes for the IPPIS platform, as the head of service herself placed an embargo on it.
“For the hazard allowance, we were told that it does not only concern the resident doctors but all doctors in Nigeria. So, we were told measures were being put in place.
“We also spoke on the minimum wage, they promised to write to the institutions owing minimum wage and also the Budget office.