Resident doctors wrongly paid N308m as salaries for four months – Reps

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The chairman, House Committee on Health Care Services at the House of Representatives, Dr Tanko Sununu has disclosed that the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) were wrongly paid salaries amounting to N308 million in the past four months.

Sununu revealed on Friday, while addressing journalists after the Committee held a closed door meeting with the registrar of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Dr Tajudeen Sanusi and other relevant stakeholders on issues bordering on the ongoing strike by resident doctors.

The committee had summoned the MDCN registrar to answer queries on discrepancies in the payment of house officers, where some were paid up to three times while others received nothing, among other issues.

He also declared that the committee would henceforth, forensically audit all the activities of the MDCN in the last five years.

He said: “We resolved that the account number be forwarded to the President of the Resident Doctors for onward transmission to the members so that the money can be paid back to government account.

“We also agreed that because 1003 members of the association were not paid, the amount to be returned by over 500 members must be paid directly to the members who are yet to be paid.

“The 446 members of the association who have not been paid, the National Post Graduate College should make a memo so that payment can be made.

The Chairman said there was no agreement on the issue of Resident Doctors under GIFMIS since there is a Ministerial committee assigned by the Ministry of Finance on that.

“We also agreed that the review of hazard allowance should be done with immediate effect for all healthcare workers in the country. N5,000 remains quite unacceptable, but we have not agreed on any figure because it’s the Ministry of Labour that already initiated that discussion.

“We are calling on the resident doctors to please consider Nigerians and note that all their grievances are being addressed. They should consider the plight of the common man who has nowhere to go because not every one of us can attend private hospitals.”

Mean while, three Committees were formed to resolve the issues agreed upon by the House Committee.

“One of the committees is to sort the issue of house officers and they are to commence work with immediate effect and submit the authenticated list to the IPPIS office within 24 hours so that payment of those who have been omitted would be done with immediate effect.

“That would also, commence work immediately and submit report to the Federal Ministry of Health with copy to the House Committee for necessary action.

“The third committee is expected to handle the many Doctors that have registered without getting their licenses. This committee would be responsible for the forensic audit of MDCN.”

“As we leave here we are also going for another meeting with the Ministry of Labour, and the essence of that meeting is to have a robust look at issue of hazard allowance.”