The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has announced its intention to convene a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting next month to decide on the possibility of a nationwide strike. The decision comes as the association’s 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government (FG) is set to expire today, August 28, 2023. Dr. Victor Makanjuola, the President of MDCAN, revealed this development in a telephone interview.
In an effort to address its concerns, MDCAN had issued a communique following its NEC meeting on August 7, 2023, issuing the ultimatum to the FG to meet their demands or face potential industrial unrest. Dr. Makanjuola clarified that while the ultimatum officially concludes on August 28, the association is extending the government’s response deadline to August 31, 2023, due to the time it took for the government to receive the ultimatum letter on August 11, 2023.
Dr. Makanjuola stated, “So, we have to hold our NEC meeting to decide if there will be a strike or not. Assuming there is no NEC meeting coming up, we would have called an emergency NEC meeting to make our decision.”
Among the demands outlined by the consultants are the immediate revision of the recently revised Consolidated Medical Salary Structure circular. They are seeking the issuance of a new circular that accurately reflects the agreed-upon percentage adjustments to basic salary and allowances, excluding hazard allowances. The association also aims to rectify the implementation error of the upward review of CONMESS, proposing the correction to commence from January 1, 2023, instead of June 1, 2023.
Additionally, MDCAN is urging for the upward review of CONMESS to factor in the impacts of fuel subsidy removal and the prevailing high inflation rates. They have appealed for the universal applicability of CONMESS to all Medical and Dental doctors, particularly those in public universities. The association has highlighted the critical issue of brain drain in the healthcare sector and called for the immediate implementation of an upward review of age retirement to 70 years for Consultants and 65 years for other health workers.
Makanjuola emphasized that the government’s fulfillment of these conditions, along with ensuring doctors’ safety, are crucial for averting a potential strike by medical and dental consultants. The decision on whether or not to proceed with the strike will be made during the Biennial Delegate Meeting scheduled from September 4th to 10th.