PRESS RELEASE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE FIRST REGULAR NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC)MEETING OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RESIDENT DOCTORS OF NIGERIA HELD FROM 29TH JANUARY TO 2ND FEBRUARY 2019 AT THE MAIN AUDITORIUM OF THE DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL (DELSUTH) OGHARA,ETHIOPE WEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT of DELTA STATE
The National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) held in DELSUTH Oghara from 29th January to 2nd February 2019. The Opening Ceremony/Scientific Conference, Leadership Retreat and business session of the meeting held at the main auditorium of the Delta State University Teaching Hospital under the distinguished chairmanship of Chief Dr. Williams E. I. Makinde, Managing Director, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).
The theme of the Opening Ceremony/Scientific Conference was Achieving Quality Healthcare Delivery Through Universal Health Coverage In Nigeria: The State Perspective and was delivered by Olorogun Dr Isaac Omavuaye Akpoveta, Chairman, Governing Board Delta State Contributory Health Commission. The sub-theme Funding For Tertiary Health Care In Nigeria: State Challenges was delivered by Prof C. G. Iwegbu, an International Consultant Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgeon. This was followed by a leadership summit which was anchored Dr Olayinka Atilola, Consultant Psychiatrist and Past President of NARD. Other events during the week included courtesy calls to His Royal Majesty Noble Eshemitan, Orefe III The Ovie of Oghara kingdom, Chief Medical Director DELSUTH Dr Onome Ogueh and a cocktail hosted by Hon Mrs. Erhiateke Ibori-Suenu in the country home of His Excellency, Chief James Onanafe Ibori.
The National Executive Council meeting was attended by National Executive Committee, National Executive Council members and delegates from around the country. The meeting deliberated on pressing national health issues, matters affecting residency training, quality health care delivery to Nigerians, welfare of their members and chatted ways forward for the administrative year.
The following observations were made
1.NARD commiserates with all Nigerians on the current resurgence of Lassa fever epidemic that is ravaging our dear nation and condoles with families and friends of those who lost their lives in the outbreak. It is indeed a national emergency that requires all hands to be on deck to ensure effective management and control.
2.NARD appreciates the peaceful coexistence between the healthcare team and the stakeholders in the health sector, especially the Honorable Minister of Health.
3.NARD noted with dismay the continued poor funding of the residency training program. It is worrisome that funding for residency training was not factored in the 2019 Appropriation bill submitted by the Executive to the National Assembly.
4.We noted the poor universal health coverage of Nigerians across the country affecting healthy living. Nigeria is still abysmally low in coverage as only about 3% of Nigerians, mostly in the formal sector, are covered after over 43 years of conception of social health insurance and 14 years of introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme. About 100 million people are still being pushed into extreme poverty (living on 1.90USD or less per day) because they have to pay for healthcare, and a life expectancy of less than 52 years.
- NARD decries the poor implementation of the memorandum of terms of settlement as entered with government in September 2017.
- The continuous harassment, victimization and physical assault of doctors at their places of work is worrisome and condemnable.
- NARD noted the continuous fall in man power, within our tertiary institutions across the country and the continuous casualization of medical practice by some Chief Executives and Medical Directors.
- NARD decries the lack of life insurance policy for doctors and other health workers despite the risks they are faced with in their work activities daily.
9.NARD notes with dismay the erratic payment of salary shortfall for Doctors since 2014.
10.NARD observed with dismay that our members in the State University Teaching Hospitals (SUTHs) still groan under the prolonged non-payment and under payment of their monthly salaries with attendant poor funding of residency training. We wish to draw the attention of the public to the unfair treatment of doctors in some States of the Federation including but not limited to LAUTECH Teaching Hospital Ogbomoso, Abia State University Teaching Hospital and Kogi State Specialist Hospital where doctors are owed many months of salaries and other emolument.
11.NARD noted the continued sack and victimization of her members across the country. Forefront is the case at Jos University Teaching Hospital where our members are still being sacked without regard to the extant residency training guidelines.
After extensive deliberations, the following resolutions were made
- The Federal Ministry of Health should continue to provide public enlightenment, provide all necessary support, including personal protection equipment to centers dedicated to Lassa fever case management. NARD reiterates her commitment to partner with the government to fight the scourge of this recurrent epidemic.
- NARD admonishes both the Federal Government (FG) and States government through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and State Health Insurance (SHI), to give Nigerians improved access to quality health care. We demand improved access, quality care, equity in financing and allocation efficiency of resources to all Nigerians both in the formal and non-formal sectors in order to meet the 2030 deadline set by all members of the United Nations to achieve Universal Health Coverage for all.
- That the FG should, through budgetary allocations, increase the funding of residency training being the key driver of improved quality health care delivery.
- That the FG should, as a matter of urgency, implement all the memorandum of terms of settlement of September 2017, and without further delay.
- The chief executives and medical directors should put in place security measures to curb harassment and assault of doctors at their point of duties.
- The chief executives and medical directors are advised to cease casualization of doctors forthwith and employ medical practitioners (resident doctors and medical officers) to curb the continuous fall of man power at our health care facilities.
- The FG, through relevant agencies, should facilitate life insurance policies for doctors and other health care workers in the federation.
- We demand immediate regularization of payment of all salary shortfalls and entitlements to doctors.
- State Governments owing our members should urgently regularize salaries and pay all accrued arrears to our members across the federation. We advocate an increase in budgetary allocation to States’ healthcare to enable proper funding of residency training programme.
- That the heads of health institutions working against the interest of our members and residency training guidelines should desist from such as it is inimical to the present harmony in the health sector.
NARD expresses her profound gratitude to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, Honorable Minister of Health Prof Isaac Adewole FAS, Governor of Delta State Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, Chairman of the Occasion, Management of DELSUTH, Hon Erhiateke Ibori-Suenu, NMA Delta state, Royal Fathers, our speakers and all the distinguished dignitaries that graced our occasion and made our stay in Delta State a memorable one.
Long live NARD
Long live NMA
Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Dr Olusegun Olaopa
Dr Anthony Ude
Secretary General NARD
Dr Kefas Bweisiae Thomas
Publicity/Social SECRETARY NARD