Just in: Doctors issue FG 21-day ultimatum, threaten strike

Just in: Doctors issue FG 21-day ultimatum, threaten strike
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Medical Practitioners Issue 21-Day Ultimatum to Nigerian Government: MDCAN’s Demands and Implications

21-day ultimatum

In a move that underscores the urgency of their concerns, medical practitioners operating under the aegis of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) have issued a stern ultimatum to the Federal Government. This 21-day ultimatum serves as a clear indication that the healthcare sector in Nigeria is at a critical juncture, demanding immediate attention and resolution. As the medical community rallies behind their demands, let’s delve into the intricacies of the issues raised by MDCAN, the implications for both healthcare practitioners and the general populace, and the possible resolutions that could restore harmony.

The Ultimatum and its Communique

21-day ultimatum

The ultimatum was made public through an official communique released at the conclusion of an extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting. The communique, jointly signed by Dr. Victor Makanjuola, the President of MDCAN, and Dr. Yemi Raji, the Secretary-General, was released on a Tuesday, marking a significant escalation in the ongoing negotiations.

Unpacking the Demands

21-day ultimatum

The primary issues that have prompted this ultimatum revolve around the non-implementation of certain agreements, including the upward review of CONMESS (Consolidated Medical Salary Scale) and the introduction of Accoutrement allowance. The medical community expresses dissatisfaction with the recent circular that only addressed the percentage increase in basic salary, omitting the crucial aspect of applying it to both basic salaries and allowances, excluding hazard allowance.

Exclusion of Clinical Lecturers and Commencement Date Discrepancy

21-day ultimatum

A major point of contention highlighted in the communique is the inadvertent exclusion of clinical lecturers (Honorary Consultants) from benefiting from the upward review due to an error in circular implementation. Moreover, the discrepancy between the agreed commencement date of January 1, 2023, and the actual implementation date of June 1, 2023, is a source of consternation within the medical community.

Socio-economic Realities

21-day ultimatum

The communique underscores the socio-economic challenges faced by healthcare practitioners, particularly in light of the recent fuel subsidy removal and the resultant inflation. The lack of consideration for these critical factors in the recent CONMESS review highlights the need for a comprehensive approach that aligns with the current economic landscape.

Brain Drain and Government Inaction

21-day ultimatum

MDCAN’s statement reveals deep concerns over brain drain within the healthcare sector. The failure of the National Council on Establishment to approve the Federal Ministry of Health’s proposal for an upward revision of retirement ages for Medical and Dental Consultants exacerbates the situation. The resulting shortage of skilled healthcare workers has dire consequences for the overall healthcare delivery system.

Pending Disputes and Impacts on Healthcare

21-day ultimatum

The statement also brings attention to the unresolved issues with the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and its cascading impact on healthcare access and quality. The medical community laments the kidnapping of doctors in the country, which further disrupts healthcare services and poses a threat to practitioners’ safety.

MDCAN’s Demands and the Way Forward

21-day ultimatum

The consultants’ demands are clear and resolute. They call for an immediate review of the revised CONMESS circular to ensure that the agreed percentage increase encompasses both Basic Salary and other allowances, excluding hazard allowance. Additionally, the medical community demands a correction to the error in the commencement date, taking into account the realities of fuel subsidy removal and inflation.

Bridging the Brain Drain Gap

21-day ultimatum

MDCAN’s plea for the implementation of an upward review of the retirement age for healthcare workers serves as a strategic measure to address brain drain and its detrimental effects. By extending the retirement age, the medical community aims to mitigate the loss of experienced practitioners and ensure a more sustainable healthcare system.

Urgent Resolutions and the Path Forward

21-day ultimatum

The ultimatum issued by MDCAN reflects a sense of urgency and an unwavering commitment to securing the best possible conditions for medical and dental consultants. The communique emphasizes that the 21-day timeframe represents a critical window during which resolutions must be reached to prevent potential industrial disharmony.

Implications for Healthcare and Nigerians

21-day ultimatum

The implications of this ultimatum extend beyond the medical community. The healthcare sector’s stability directly impacts the accessibility and quality of healthcare services available to Nigerians. Failure to address the demands raised by MDCAN could lead to disruptions in healthcare delivery, exacerbating an already challenging situation for the populace.

Conclusion

21-day ultimatum

In conclusion, the ultimatum issued by MDCAN has thrust critical issues within the Nigerian healthcare sector into the spotlight. The demands put forth by medical and dental consultants underscore the need for comprehensive, informed, and equitable solutions. As the countdown to the ultimatum’s expiry begins, the hope is that the Federal Government will heed these concerns and take swift action to prevent industrial disharmony and ensure a stable and thriving healthcare system for all Nigerians.

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