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Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria Issues Ultimatum to Federal Government

The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, urging it to meet its demands or face potential industrial discord. This ultimatum comes in response to several grievances expressed by the association regarding remuneration and working conditions for medical practitioners.

In a communique released following its extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting and signed by MDCAN President Dr. Victor Makanjuola and Secretary-General Dr. Yemi Raji, the association expressed dissatisfaction over the non-implementation of a jointly agreed-upon upward review of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and the introduction of Accoutrement allowance. The recently released circular only applied the percentage increase to basic salary, omitting other allowances except hazard allowance.

The communique stressed that this oversight resulted in the exclusion of clinical lecturers (Honorary Consultants) from benefiting from the review. The new circular’s commencement date was also cited as an issue, as it was agreed to be January 1, 2023, instead of June 1, 2023.

In addition to the issues with the CONMESS, MDCAN expressed concern over the lack of universal implementation of CONMESS for all medical and dental doctors, regardless of the government agency they work for. The council also lamented the government’s failure to address brain drain’s impact on the health sector, including the refusal to approve the Federal Ministry of Health’s proposal to increase the retirement age for Medical and Dental Consultants and other health workers.

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The council further criticized the government’s handling of disputes with the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), the subsequent effect on healthcare access, and the kidnapping of doctors.

The demands put forth by MDCAN include the immediate review of the revised CONMESS circular to incorporate the agreed-upon percentage for both Basic Salary and other allowances, beyond hazard allowance. The association also called for the correction of the error in the commencement date of the CONMESS upward review, considering the removal of fuel subsidies and the current high inflation rate.

MDCAN demanded the prompt implementation and circularization of the agreed-upon methods for rectifying the remuneration shortfalls for Clinical Lecturers (Honorary Consultants). The association also requested the universal application of CONMESS to all medical and dental doctors, especially those in public universities.

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Addressing the government’s attention to the issue of brain drain, MDCAN urged the immediate implementation of an upward revision of the retirement age to 70 years for Consultants and 65 years for other Health workers. The association appealed for the resolution of all disputes with NARD, ensuring the return to normal operations in government hospitals.

Lastly, MDCAN called upon the government and security agencies to ensure the safety of their members and all Nigerians, while facilitating the swift and secure release of those currently held captive by kidnappers. The NEC expressed hope that the issues would be resolved within the 21-day ultimatum, stressing that failure to do so could jeopardize the current industrial harmony in government hospitals and medical schools.

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