Medical Consultants To Meet Over Planned Strike As Govt Fails To Meet Demands
The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) are considering whether to embark on industrial action, ahead of a planned meeting on Sunday.
President of the association, Professor Ken Ozoilo, disclosed this to Channels Television on Friday in Abuja during an exclusive interview.
This comes as Nigerians struggle for medical treatment across government facilities amid the ongoing nationwide strike by members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
The senior medical practitioners had issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, which is set to expire on August 16.
“MDCAN issued an ultimatum to (the) government – a 21-day ultimatum that is going to expire on Monday,” Ozoilo told Channels Television. “This ultimatum is to give leeway for … a resolution of the issues at hand.
“Of course, if this is achieved, there will be no reason to proceed on strike. Our requests were very specific and I will say that what we have achieved thus far … were far from resolution at this point in time.”
The association is protesting a circular from the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) directing the removal of its members from the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS), among other demands.
According to the MDCAN president, the government has failed to meet the demands made by the medical association.
He stated that the leadership of the union has had several communications with the government on the matter and other issues, but there has been no solution in sight.
‘Take A Decision’
Professor Ozoilo insisted that the government has yet to address the concerns that led to the ultimatum issued by the medical professionals, saying that their next move would be revealed after the meeting.
“Of course, you know that the primary among our demands is the withdrawal of the letter written by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) that directed universities that were remunerating their clinical lecturers on CONMESS to desist from that practice,” he said.
“This is the immediate cause and other issues have been there. The National Executive Council of our association is going to meet on Sunday.
“We have an emergency NEC meeting where we will x-ray the progress that’s so far made and take a decision.”
The industrial action by the resident doctors, which has run into a second week, has crippled activities and left patients stranded in many government-owned hospitals in the country.
Members of the association had gone on strike in protest against the irregularities in the payment of salaries to house officers, among other issues.
They also accused the government of failing to fulfill its promise to members of the association who died of COVID-19 in the line of duty.
The strike began a week after President Muhammadu Buhari left Nigeria for the United Kingdom where he participated in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025.
After the summit, he stayed back in London for an earlier scheduled medical check-up before returning to the country on Friday.