Intern doctors (also called house officers) whose three-month salaries were not paid because of the power tussle between chief medical directors (CMD) and the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) have begun receiving payments, FIJ can report.
This comes following the collapse of Dr Okorie Ifeanyi Venatus, a house officer at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH). Despite not being paid for three months, the doctor worked non-stop for 72-hours and eventually fainted.
Citing Dr Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, President of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), FIJ had reported that some CMDs of federal medical institutions refused to submit the names of house officers serving at their hospitals to the MDCN because they were unhappy that the latter controls the financial resource that would have gone to their coffers.
Afrah Jemal Mohammed, a house officer at the University of Jos Teaching Hospital, affirmed that payment had commenced. She told FIJ that many of her colleagues had received two months salaries, “but some of us haven’t; I think it’s a bank problem”.
Dr Uyilawa confirmed to FIJ that house officers had begun receiving their salaries and many CMDs had submitted their house officers’ lists to the MDCN for verification and approval.
“About 19 institutions that submitted their list have been paid. They have received two months salaries. Institutions that owe three months salaries are few — less than five — and they are already sorting it out. Those yet to submit their list were given deadline of today,” he said.
He revealed that an intervention by Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the House of Representatives, helped to resolve the quagmire between the CMDs of federal medical institutions and the MDCN.
“Hopefully, this will be the end of the struggle between the CMDs and the MDCN. The Honourable Speaker Gbajabiamila intervened by calling all stakeholders on Monday and they gave us a time frame to sort it out and that is what we are all following,” Uyilawa added.
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