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Association express concerns over FG’s Failure to issue circular on retirement adjustment age for Doctors, Health Workers

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By Isreal Adamu

Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has observed with grave concern the failure of the Federal and States Governments to issue relevant circular on increase (Harmonization) retirement age of hospital Consultants to 70 years for doctors and 65 years for other healthcare workers in the country.

They also frowned at their persistent inability to squarely address the issues of shortfall in salaries of clinical lecturers (Honorary Consultants),occasioned by non-payment of their salary with CONMESS (the consolidated salary structure for Medical and Dental Doctors in public service in Nigeria.

MDCAN stated this in a communique issued at the end of their National Executive Council (NEC) meeting with the theme, “Nigeria Health Sector Renewal investment Initiative and its Significance in Achieving Universal Health
Coverage”.

The communique which was jointly signed by MDCAN President Prof Mohammed Aminu Mohammed and Dr.Daiyabu Alhaji Ibrahim Secretary General, a copy made available to newsmen in Jos said the development if not addressed will be the bane in the process of sustainable production of healthcare workforce in addition to the abysmally low remuneration of members across many states health institutions which will further encourage brain drain.

“We also resolved that Government as well as critical stakeholders in healthcare sector should have strategic plans that will ensure all Nigerians have financial, geographical and functional access to quality
healthcare”.

They further stressed, “The various steps outlined in the Nigerian Health Sector Renewal Investment Initiative (NHSRII) should be properly followed, and MDCAN as well as other critical stakeholders should be involved
for effective delivery of quality healthcare to all Nigerians”.

“Federal and States Governments should as a matter of urgency, address the age
long demand of Universal Applicability of CONMESS to all qualified Medical and Dental University Lecturers in the Colleges of Medicine/Health Sciences across the various Universities in the Country.”

According to the communique, the increase in the numbers of medical students admitted should be followed up by deliberate
efforts by the Federal Government, to increase human resources, infrastructures such as classrooms,
laboratories and simulation laboratories should be rapidly improved upon for effective training of medical students without compromising the expected standard.

They further noted that the association as critical stakeholder in the training of trainers of medical students and doctors, should be involved in decision making
on issues that affect their training.

The doctors further argued that one of the priority areas of the current administration’s RENEWED HOPE AGENDA considers
healthcare as essential pillar of development, and the Government should seeks to improve healthcare
by strengthening the Primary, Secondary and tertiary Healthcare services, and ensuring an
adequate, skilled and highly motivated health work force among other strategies.

According to the Consultants, the recent Federal Government policy of “No leave of absence” for any healthcare workers in
its employment, is viewed as discriminatory and is a violation of their fundamental human rights
as citizens of Nigeria, as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, as amended.

The communique further added that members of MDCAN have over the years cooperated with the Governments at all levels by
remaining committed to providing healthcare delivery to the population, despite the association’s several unanswered demands and then urged them to also reciprocate the good gesture as demonstrated by the association by giving due attention to their demands.

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