The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), says its 21 day ultimatum to the Federal Government to meet its demands or risk industrial disharmony will elapse on Sept. 2.
The association’s President, Dr Victor Makanjuola, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
“You will recall that arising from the Extraordinary-National Executive Council (e-NEC) meeting of Aug. 7th, the NEC rose with a 21- day ultimatum to the Federal Government to address all issues raised in our communique.
“Failure of which industrial harmony would not be guaranteed in all government owned tertiary hospitals and medical schools.
“That ultimatum will elapse on Sept. 2nd, based on the day our letter to the relevant ministries and agencies of government were acknowledged as received.
“Furthermore, the e-NEC also decided to review progress at the August 2023 NEC meeting in Kano, which is in a few days’ time.”
Makanjuola, however said that he hopes that the Federal Government would do all within its power to forestall the impending industrial disharmony in the nation’s tertiary hospitals and medical schools.
On whether there had been any engagements with relevant government authorities since their notice was received, he said there had been none, although a meeting has been scheduled for 4pm on Tuesday (today).
The meeting, he said, was would be with the officials of the Federal Ministry of Health.
NAN reports that the association had in a communiqué which was signed by the president and the Secretary-General, Dr Yemi Raji, issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to meet its demands or risk industrial disharmony.
The doctors are demanding for the immediate review of the newly revised Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS) circular.
They are also demanding the issuance of a new circular that would reflect the agreed percentage on both the basic salary and other allowances, apart from hazard allowance.
This, it said, would ensure that the Clinical Lecturers (Honorary Consultants) would benefit from the upward review.
According to MDCAN, it observed the non-implementation of the jointly agreed upward review of CONMESS and the introduction of accoutrement allowance with the Nigerian Medical Association.
It added that the released circular only captured the percentage increase on the basic salary, as against applying it to both the basic salary and all allowances except hazard allowance.
It also said that the error has resulted in the complete exclusion of the Clinical Lecturers (Honorary Consultants) from benefitting from the upward review.
The association also called for the correction of the error of commencement of the implementation of the upward review of CONMESS from June 1 to Jan. 1.
“A demand that the upward review of the CONMESS should take into consideration the impacts of the fuel subsidy removal and the high inflationary trend that is currently being experienced.
“A demand for the immediate implementation and circularisation of the agreed modalities for correcting the shortfalls in remunerations of Clinical Lecturers (Honorary Consultants).
“An appeal for the universal applicability of CONMESS to all Medical and Dental doctors, particularly those in the public universities.”
The association also called the attention of the Federal Government to the impact of brain drain in the health sector, which it said, was contributing to burnout among its members and inadequate healthcare workforce to cater for the health of Nigerians.
“We therefore demand for the immediate implementation of the upward review of age retirement to 70 years for consultants and 65 years for other health workers, as an immediate measure to bridge the on-going massive brain drain.
“We appeal to the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency resolve all the contending issues with the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), in order to ensure that the government hospitals return to normal operation for optimal healthcare delivery immediately.
“We call on the governments at all levels, as well as the security agencies to do all within their powers, to ensure the safety of our members and other Nigerians while effecting the immediate and safe release of those currently held captive by kidnappers”, it said. (NAN)