The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, on Sunday said mass sack of striking resident doctors could result in unpalatable consequences for the country.
The association said this in a communiqué jointly signed by the MDCAN National President, Balarabe Sani-Gwarzo, and National Secretary, Abdulkadir Rafindadi and made available to journalists in Kaduna.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the communiqué, which was read out to journalists by the national president, was an outcome of MDCAN National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH.
The association said any such move was inimical to the nation’s public health sector and called for urgent steps to safeguard the nation’s public health sector from total collapse.
“The meeting noted with utmost dismay the highhandedness of the Federal Ministry of Health as evident in a circular dated 19th Jan. 2017 ref DHS/828/T/199.
“The circular directed the Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) and Medical Directors (MDs) to replace striking resident doctors with locum staff.
“We observed that the ongoing strike action was avoidable as the MDCAN had earlier intervened by calling the attention of the Honourable Minister to activities of some staff in the health ministry.
“Activities of these staff aimed at frustrating the implementation of earlier agreement reached in a meeting with Honourable Yakubu Dogara, Speaker, House of Representatives on 14th July, 2016,” it noted.
The association advised the Federal Ministry of Health to urgently work towards resolving the current strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors by implementing all previous agreements reached.
The resident doctors have since ended their warning strike and issued a fresh 21 days ultimatum.
MDCAN also lamented the deplorable condition at the 13 camps that accommodated 319,749 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.
“We strongly advocate for urgent implementation of the resettlement plan by the Federal Government for the IDPs, in addition to ongoing efforts in addressing their various health challenges.
“Members of MDCAN are ready and willing to partner with government and stakeholders in the effort to combat the health challenges of IDPs,” it said.
MDCAN also frowned at continued non-payment of members’ salaries and allowances for several months in various health institutions across the country, particularly Federal Medical Centre, Owerri and state-owned institutions.
“Employers, especially state governments, still owing our members salaries and allowances should without any further delay, defray all such outstanding emoluments.
“Continued delay is a violation of the extant labour laws and workers’ right to legitimate wages.
“NEC further strongly advocates the universal application of agreements regarding implementation of appropriate emoluments to all members particularly at the state level,” it said.