On 13/Aug/2013 / In Training/Workshop/Conference

The National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria(NARD) held her National Executive CoUncil(NECl Meeting at the Virgin Island Hotel, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State between 24th and 27th July, 2013. The NEC meeting which was tagged 'Abakaliki 2013' has its theme centred on 'FLOOD DISASTER AND ITS MANAGEMENT'ln attendance was the Honourable Minister of Health,Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, represented by Dr Sunday Mooye, the medical director, National Obstetric Fistula and Cancer Screening Centre, Abakaliki. The keynote address was delivered by Rev. Professor Olu Ogbonnaya, an erudite scholar and an experienced teacher in the field of postgraduate medical training in Nigeria. Other contributors who also shared their knowledge and experience at this meeting included Professor Ow Nweke Ozor, a former Secretary to Ebonyi State Govemment; Dr Ala Chihurumnanya and Or (Mrs) Nnennaya Ajayi. 
   As part of the NEC meeting, doctors and other health workers in the state, during CME sessions, updated their knowledge on the management of mass casualty and obstetric emergency. Another high point of this NEC meeting was a medical outreach programme at Abalqla market square, Abakaliki where about 150 traders were given free heaHh education and screening for diabetes mellitus and hypertension. The NEC meeting witnessed a robust attendance and participation by resident doctors from all over the country. 
1 The Nallonal burden of flooding is enormous but the level of preparedness towards this tragedy is inadequate in Nigeria. Both the govemment and Nigerian public have a role to play in our bid to control this menace. There is a need by the govemment to create a special agency which will be dedicated to, and saddled with the responsibility of devising proactive measures both for the prevention and effective management of the effects of this natural disaster. 
2  The Federal Govemment seems not to be operating any particular policy on Residency Training despite a policy on this, which was agreed upon at the stakeholders meeting held between 5th and 7th July, 2012 where we had in attendance, top officials from the ministries of health, finance, representatives of Nigeria Medical Association, MDGAN, NARD and all (Chief) Medical 
Directors of our training centers. This agreement between the Ministry(Govemment) and these professional groups must be carefully considered as a very useful and invaluable tool in any form of budgeting and policy formulation, for both the local residency training and the oversea clinical attachment.
 3 Despite our outcry to govemment, marked by a warning strike in the past months, to save the imminent collapse of   Residency Training (and thus the of healthcare delivery in Nigeria) as orchestrated in the paltry sum allocated for this purpose in the 2013 budget, there has since been no measureable improvement on this matter. We are particularly worried that crucial aspect of the budget wasnot given any kind consideration, during the recently concluded amendment to the national budget The NEC wishes to use this medium to register our displeasure on the way the issue of residency training funding 
is being handled at the moment.
4.Although the Integrated Personnel Patroll information system (IPPIS) is not without a good intention by the government, itsdefective implementation by the Federal Ministry of Finance in six pilot hospitals has caused our members a great deal of  of hardship. 
5 NEC rejectS the appalling service condition of doctors at the Enugu State University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Parklane Enugu. The unenviable record of the State Government as the only yet to comly with the national minimum stadards of remuneration for doctors (CONMESS) after over four years of approval is highly unacceptable..
6. The NEC is aware of a recent, but rapidly growing profrssional antipathic activities of pharmacists to wards medical personnels wlthin the hospitals. This interfrtence with the unique clincal duty of doctors is highly unsafe, unpro fessional and unwarranted . Sunch concerned pharmacists are hereby warned, to limit themselves to the dispensary, as medical prescriptions are exclusive  responsibility of a doctor and should not be tampered/interfered with, by any other personnel within the hospital.
Consequent upon the above observations, the NEC resolved as follws: 
(i)  that, theFederal Government is hereby given till Friday 30th August, 2013 to come up with a tangible solution to the problem of residency traning funding for 2013. Failure of which, NARD shall immediately direct her members to proceed on an indefinite strike.
(ii) that, there is a need by the govenment, to work will a blueprite on  Residency trining Programme as this would enhance improvement in the quality and standards of the training as well as facilitate adequate budgeting and smooth addministration of the programme
(iii) that, the ministry should immediately circulate this policy as agreed at the stakeholders meeting, to all stakeholders inclding  NARD, and henceforth begin the implementation of this policy for residency trining in Nigeria.
(iv) we advise the ministry to be more proactive concerning the 2014 budget through an early call for the meeting of stakeholders to discuss the adequate budgetary ailocation for this purpose for the coming year. We also request for the transfer of the residency training funding to sections under the (statutory) recurrent expenditure instead of the section on capital(envelope 
system of expenditure) it found itself at present. 
(v) that, the finance ministry should immediately relieve our members the undue hardship, by correcting all the inconsistencies and salary irregularities associated with the implementallon of IPPIS in these pilot centers by the time August, 2013 salary is paid. Failure of wih!ch, NARD would demand for immediate suspension of the implementallon in all of her centers. 
(vi) that, in the interest of continuous industrial harmony, this payroll system implementation should not be extended to any of our members outside these six pilot centers until all the identified challenges are fully corrected, 
(vii) that. the NEC gives the Enugu State Govemment till September, 2013 to implement this overdue salary structure for doctors in Enugu State University ofTechnology Teaching Hospital, Parkiane, Enugu, 
(Viii) the NEC passed a unanimous vote of confidence on the NARD PreSident, Dr. lawai Ismail Akinlade and other members of the National Officers Committee on how they have led the association thus far in this NARD year, especially during the three-day warning strike. 
1. The NEC appreCiates the support and thegoodwii! of the good people of Ebonyi State and extends its special thanks to the Executive Governor, Chief Martin Elechi; the Deputy Govemor, Eng.Dav Umahi and other members of the State Executive Council for their positive impact during our stay in the state. We also appreciate the Chairman, Ebonyi State Council of 
Traditional Rulers, His Royal Highness Eze Agonorneze for the warm reception and the fatherly care bestowed on us during our courtest visit. 
2. The NEC also expresses its gratitude to. Dr Sunday Adeoye, the Medical Director, National Obstetric Fistula and Cancer Screening Centre, Abakalild and the management of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki for their immense contribution towards the success of the meeting, 
3. The NEC is grateful 10 the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki for a successful hosting of the National Executive Council meeting of NARD. 
Dr. Isamail A. Lawal     Dr Bashir-Zakariyya Popoola    Dr Ayokunle T. Onayemi
President.                            Public Relations Officer           Secretary General

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