Health

Doctors’ strike: FG spent N13.3bn on Group Life Insurance in 2020 -Ngige

…faults rejection of MOA by NARD’s President
…says some of the demands made in ignorance

Regina Otokpa, Abuja

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, has said N13.3 billion was spent on Group Life Insurance for doctors including resident doctors, health workers and other workers in the federal civil and public service in the year 2020.
According to him, the reason for the composite exercise was to arrest a situation where ministries and agencies of government worked  in silos in payment of death benefits to workers with record of with lapses in some cases.
Ngige, who made this known while dismissing as untrue, an allegation that doctors in the public health institutions across the country, were not insured, faulted the rejection of the Memorandum of Action (MOA)
signed Wednesday, March 31 by the President of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi.
Speaking to newsmen on Saturday in Abuja,  he said some of the demands put forward by NARD were made in error, as the Federal Government has substantially met the demands of NARD whereby some of the issues were already conciliated and implemented hundred percent.
He said: “NARD made some of the demands in ignorance. They didn’t have the full picture. Maybe they wished for a strike or their president  pushed them into strike so that his name will go into the annals of NARD as one of the though presidents that has taken them on strike. That’s wrong.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria in March last year, spent  N13.3 billion on Group Life Insurance for all workers comprising all federal civil servants as well as public servants in some parastatals that could not afford insurance for their staff members.
“This money was paid to 13 insurance companies and brokerage firms to administer. And this is not the first time that NARD and teaching hospitals have been told to send in names and make claims for members who have lost their lives.
“It is an insurance that runs for one year and it is still on till March that just ended and even at that, the new payment is now being processed, so that it becomes a continuous thing.”
Ngige, who clarified that NARD was again reminded  of the development while signing the MOA, to  put up a claims through the Ministry of Health; to the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation as it was the only basis for payment of premium to the beneficiaries.

 

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