These are the 24 reasons Nigerian doctors are on strike

Doctors performing surgery on a patient

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, an association of all medical doctors in Nigeria on July 1 embarked on a nationwide strike.

With the NMA strike, doctors working in government-owned hospitals have boycotted work, leaving majority of sick Nigerians stranded.

In an open letter to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, on June 11, the association listed a 24 ‘minimum point’ demand which it expected government to meet before its members would return to work.

The letter was titled “Facing the Challenges in the Health Sector”.

However on Thursday, President Goodluck Jonathan ordered the sack of all resident doctors in Nigeria.

Mr. Jonathan directed the suspension of all Residency Training Programme and the hiring of part-time medical officers to replace the doctors.

The inadequate funding of the Residency Training Programme is one of the reasons the NMA is aggrieved.

Below is a list of the challenges faced by the NMA:

1.  A demand that seven Deputy Chairman Medical Advisory Committee, DCMAC (four for Teaching Hospitals and three for Federal Medical Centers be appointed to assist the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee, CMAC. The association noted that the CMAC is presently saddled with statutory responsibilities that are too heavy for an individual to handle. The DCMACs is expected to have the same qualifications as the CMACs.

The NMA also argued that directors in other government establishments are supported by deputies and sees no reason while that of the CMACs should be different.

2. The association opposed the appointment of directors in hospitals. The position, it said, distorts the chain of command and induces anarchy while exposing patients to conflicting treatment and management directives with mostly negative consequences.

3. A demand that grade level 12 (CONMESS 2) in the health sector be skipped for medical and dental practitioners.

4. The association also demand that the title ‘Consultant’ should not be assigned to non-doctor personnel. Arguing that consultant describes the relationship between a specialist medical doctor and his patients, the association said that giving the title to a non-doctor personnel will only lead to anarchy and chaos in the system.

5. The immediate implementation of a January 3, 2014 circular and immediate payment of the arrears for 22 years during which members were short-changed. It also demand an adjustment of doctor’s salary to maintain the relativity as agreed.

6. The acceleration of the passage of the National Health Bill and extension of the Universal Health Coverage to cover 100 per cent of Nigerians rather than 30 per cent as currently prescribed by the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS.

7. Appointment of a Surgeon General of the Federation with immediate effect.

8. A correction of entry point of a health officer to CONMESS 1 Step 4 as originally contained in MSS/ MSSS while the Registrar/ Medical officer is moved to CONMESS 3 Step 3.

9. Call duty allowance for Honorary Consultants should be increased by 90 per cent.

10. An adjustment in the specialist allowance as contained in the 2009 collective bargaining agreement. Also all doctors on CONMESS 3 and above must be paid specialist allowance or its equivalent, not less than 50 per cent higher than what is paid to other health workers.

11. Hazard allowance for medical doctors must be at least N100, 000 per month. The hazard allowance for medical doctors is said to be at N5, 000 per month presently.

12. Immediate release of the circular on rural posting, teaching and other allowances which must include house officers.

13. An immediate withdrawal of a circular by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN authorizing Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, MLSCN to approve licenses for importation of In-Vitro Diagnostics, IVDs.

14. Immediate release of the circular for the retirement age for medical doctors as agreed with the Federal Government.

15. The FG through the health ministry should formalize and implement the report of the interagency committee on residency training. The FG is expected to release the uniform template on the appointment of resident doctors in line with earlier agreements. Also a concrete funding framework for residency training must be established while the overseas clinical attachment must be fully restored and properly funded in the interest of the nation.

16. That in the interest of harmony in the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, the government should pay the salaries of our members in the center as agreed on October 21, 2013.

17. Immediate concrete steps must be put in place for the reintegration of our members back into the IPPIS platform.

18. All attempts to coerce house officers not to join NARD must stop.

19. The orchestrated intimidation, harassment and physical assault of our members in the departments of pathology (Laboratory medicine) by laboratory scientists and tolerated by the Federal Ministry of Health must stop.

20. The endless circle of incomplete salary payment of our members in many hospitals in the name of shortfalls in personnel cost must stop.

21. Universal applicability of all establishment circulars on the renumeration and conditions of service for doctors at all levels of government must be granted.

22. Government should as a matter of urgency set up a health trust fund that will enhance the upgrading of hospitals in Nigeria.

23. The position of the Chief Medical Director/ Medical Director must continue to be occupied by a medical doctor as contained in the Act establishing the tertiary hospitals. This position remains sacrosanct and untouchable.

24. The NMA henceforth shall not accept the continued violation of any of any of the terms of the 2009 Collective Bargaining Agreement. This is exemplified by the payment of the Medical Physicist and Optometrist with OD (who are on CONHESS) call duty allowance using CONMESS circular. Similarly, the phrase, “Ministries, Departments and Agencies”, MDAs in the said agreement should replace “Federal Ministry of Health and other Federal Health Institutions” as contained in the 2009 CONMESS circular.


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  • JI

    These people should be released to go look for factory jobs.

    They are taking the nation for a ride. Medical doctor behaving like gangsters are not fit for a budding nation!

    • kelvin

      Budding nati o n after 50 years haha ha hehe he haha. U are a comic relief.when your govt is raping you you say u out are still budding stealing all your monies and fly in Abroad? Are u for Real?

      • joe

        all these arguments are more dangerous than ebola crisis

        • Terry

          Quite unfortunate that many grt things appear and to a large extent are tainted by the complex mix of the Nigerian society. Agitations are normal and encouraged if properly handled, unfortunately the NMA has chosen a very rash path premised on raw greed, high mindedness and head swelling pride. The line of thought of a typical Nigerian Medic dr is that he/she is a demi-god worthy of some special worship which has led them to not recognising other partners in the health sect, not attaching much importance to patent care,and ego tripping-even against their employers. What mks them feel every one wished to be a medic?- quite irritating to the ears. Nigerians won’t give a hoot who heads what and where, who earns billions a month, who claims ownership of a patient and all that stuff, if basic health care can be accessed. Nigerians are begining to know better and are getting tired of megalomanic drs. Let NMA for once sheat the sword of pride,give government another chance while proving to Nigerians that they are the essence of their profession .

  • Peculiar

    Set of thieves as doctors, they can go to hell. APC doctors.

    • peace ambassador

      Ppl are blaming jona, for not giving us the “fresh air” he promised.. Is dt greed? No… Part of the population where busy serving humanity they asked for the same govt to fulfill what they promised to… They are called ‘greedy’ , thieves, psychotic( though don’t know how to diagnose psytriatric disorder).
      Is it arrogance for pilot to fly a plane and disallow flight attendant into the cockpit. jus bcoz ppl call her pilot at home she must be allowed to fly the plane
      Yeah! U must agree with me everybody working in the hospital(including janitors) wants to be address as Dr. Y?… Bcoz the superiority is natural not artificial.. And if we can go back to medical school all health related courses (paramedics) wanted to become Drs. Some were not giving the admission as a result of some deficiencies and some were not lucky to get the admission. Some where admitted into the course(MBBS) buh withdrawn.. Yeah its blessing to be a doctor n also a blessing to be a paramedic the ryt thing is accept being a paramedic not wanting to be a doctor. I think we should stop all this insults and face the reality

      • Enemona

        It’s the same line of thought that causes the society’s apathy towards doctor’s plights. I don’t think doctors are any more brilliant than others and not everybody who works in healthcare wanted to be a doctor. Not even a majority.

        This arrogance is just the issue. I think doctors need to be humble and conservative. It’s a few, which you represent, that gives them such a bad image. It is one of many professions the society needs but I do think and know it’s a noble profession.

        • Jesuslover101

          Arrogance.Hmmm

  • redeem

    Remember when the Lagos State Government dismissed the 788 doctors who participated in a three-day warning strike between April 11 and 13 in the state.? Then went on to induct 373 doctors?

  • Tufiakwa

    25. We, Nigerian doctors, consider money more important than human life and the Federal Government should pass a law backing this key element of our work philosophy.
    26. Our association should be put at par with Road Transport Workers Union
    27 We are demanding that there should be a law which removes all authority from the Federal Governments and State Governments, official owners of public hospitals.

  • amazing2012

    They are criminals and has psychiatric problem, I think they should test themselves to confirm the state of their minds. Money, money and money ! Not integrity, sacrifice, fashion and patriotism.
    Ask them what do they pay for the education they receive from Government institutions ?
    Ask them, that they only value their job, what of securities, power sector, even laborers that built the hospital for them to work, tailor and other experts, professionals and special jobs which must exist for them not only to work to stay alive. Even mama that sell food is important in division of labor and contribution to the national growth, through sacrifice and contentment.
    I think the government should barn associations, clubs, unions and issue a new license to some with a new guidelines.
    Thieves everywhere, no wonder crime is found in the hospitals. Let them know that everybody is important and they chooses a job that is concern with service and fashion not politics and money minds. Why Doctors are respected is because of their fashion to work and quiet life, not Doctors of today, arm robbers.
    I want the union to as well publish how much government is paying them, so that we can see and compare with other important jobs and analyse if they are cheated.

  • Usman

    totally ridiculous, these same guys rarely show up at their duty post, they engage in other private duties and many more, at the same time, they took oath of placing the life of the patient ahead of money or any other thing, the same guys enjoyed free tuition at the university, they pay small tax in comparison with medical personnel in other countries, I think they are too selfish

    • Candid

      You must be a clown or totally ignorant of what you r talking about! Which med sch in Naija is free? Tax is paid based on what you earn .Please STOP THE HATE! Not everyone will be doctors and there is nothing wrong asking for what they deem is due them, afterall there is room for negotiation! The Govt should not promise wha they will not deliver, they are not superior but they are indispensible! Let us not make baseless comments because we r not informed.The doctors are humanbeings not matyrs, check outwhat structures ur govt hs put in place to curtail ebola disease, really non- existent.The efforts being made to hold d health sector from collapse is really commendable cos things are not as they should be! You may say that holds everywhere in dNaija, Yes, that is why we should commend them for sticking to their guns.Enough is enough , let us stop tolerating the deplorable state of things in Nig.He that has a voice, let him use it. Doctors are not all good , we have bad eggs amongst them but such holds in every sector.Cutting off d head will never be d appropriate meds for headache! Let d govt address the real issues at stake, let NMA identify d most realistic n minimumbof their demands and end this whole saga.We can never replace 16000 docs.Remember, though a child has clothes like elders, he can never have rags as much! Peace…

      • Usman

        that shows how ignorant you are, did any body pays tuition fee in Nigeria?, education is free, Government pay for it, ask foreigners what they pay to study in Nigeria, we only pay registration fee not tuition, we must dedicate and pay back our country

  • Enemona

    25th reason: EBOLA!

  • Patriot

    As usual emotions instead of facing real issues. Anyway, I thank Almighty God that there was a strike on because the late Mr Sawyer most likely would have been taken to one of the teaching hospitals probably LUTH or LASUTH and we’ll all be singing a different song. The nurse who is working without flowing water in an overcrowded LUTH for example would have infected other patients, nurses and doctors who in turn would end up infecting so many others. Do you know how long it takes to wipe the floor of any of these teaching hospitals if a patient in emergency throws up? Can any of you work in that kind of environment and be sane?These doctors ought to be commended for seeing people die for no just reason. Do you know how many CMDs just squander funds appropriated to their hospitals and nothing is doe about it because ministry officials are in connivance? Do you know how many patients an average doctor sees in one day? All said, how many doctors can afford to send their children to top schools in Nigeria or even afford to buy a house?

    • Native Doctor

      “Do you know how many CMDs just squander funds appropriated to their hospitals and nothing is doe about it because ministry officials are in connivance? Do you know how many patients an average doctor sees in one day? All said, how many doctors can afford to send their children to top schools in Nigeria or even afford to buy a house?”
      Really!
      You failed to mention that these CMDs are MEDICAL DOCTORS chosen from amongst NMA.
      Medical Doctors are the highest paid employees in the Teaching hospital.
      Most deaths recorded in these hospitals are as a result of negligence on the part of the Medical Doctors and they cover it up with technical/technical jargons!
      Their demands is just plain Greed.

      • Emily

        Most death are not from negligence, they are from d ignorance of Nigerian citizens, u go to pharmacy wen ur ill, then if it doesn’t work u use traditional medicine, if it doesn’t. Work u go to church then when u r at the door of death.u come to hospital, when i request u do a test no money, i request for drugs no money, i have to work with inferior tools, trust me i am better than d doctors abroad, they have machines, they have a working system, nurses knw there job, pharmacist knw there job, no encroachment, they work in teams.I STUDIED MEDICINE NOT MAGIC

    • kelvin

      Thank you sir.

  • wode

    Remember that next time you or any of your relatives are sick, it’s the Doctors you are going to see. Remember, most of the Doctors are rare breeds and not many people can take up these challenges. They are mostly the best you would find in a Secondary school class that take up the challenge. Their training is always one of the most rigorous. Their work is one of saving lives with very little or no chance for error in practice. Hence, they deserve our support and not outright condemnation. If you or any of your relatives are members of these profession, think of what your position would be. We all know what the political class accrue to themselves.

    • Gbemileke

      In as much as i admit your comment above. I feel the request of the doctors is mere shenanigan. e How can you justify ALL this request. Which has no any atom of passion for the citizenry well being and the work environment. They are not better than the politician who are self-centered. Point out any economy that got what it wants in this country…If we ALL decided to down tools at will just for the sake of ourselves no one will be able to move around in this nation. is it the teachers that a well paid? or the police? the army? name which?. This nation cannot be turned around in a day an we shouldn’t bring government to their senses ONLY at the detriment of the citizens who are at the receiving end. In fact they lot all the respect i have for this dignified profession most especially during this Ebola outbreak. The right thing to do then was to take the overriding interest of the masses into consideration a suspend the strike at least for three month so this can be address. After all we all know they have private hospitals. Barely come to work. More so does the government officials use the Public hospitals. The answer is an affirmative NO.

      • kelvin

        Let me assure u sir Dr’s are still working on the Ebola crises.but u are not in the know that no , I mean no hospital in nigeria is equipped to face even isolation of cases.this is your govt. In the USA 90 % of its hospitals can tackle Ebola cases.i advice u do the right thing go on inspection of your govt hospitals, verify and come back here.would u allow your Dr father or sister to go where there is nothing to work with and die? Answer from your heart pls. The request of Dr’s before this Ebola is include u and your family in nhis then improve facilities and training so they stop wasting money flying abroad to treat headache while u remain here stranded.pls go over the issues again and stop been passionate.3000 Dr’s left this country in about 2 years , we say pay them their dues so this brain drain stops….is that wrong ? Does nigeria have the Money? Will u not go to a place we’re you are respected and paid 15x Over? Is this not Natural? I mean see the insults uneducated nigerian heap on their first class citizens when the same nigerian are too scared to correct it’s corrupt govt. It is laughable.God bless u

        • Jesuslover101

          90% of hospitals in the US are equipped for Ebola. Pls provide evidence

        • osikagbagbeola

          ” first class citizens”? And who are the second class, third class etc citizens? Guys, your problem is that you are full of yourselves and this is the source of your problems. Just look around your self and see you are not and never will be all in all. And let you know it is not only doctors leaving the country. Rather than staying and asking for the impossible, you are free to leave too…..today.

    • Mbaba

      I will agree with u if u say dat they r one of the best but certainly not d best. i rembr as engineering students we shared d same courses with them in our remedial prog and part one science class, d top eng’g gurus were beta than the top medical students. it is the same thing everywhere, most of them get admitted into college of medical science by influence, today most are d children of d WHO IS WHO

      • Jude

        you are right about just any body gaining admission to study medicine, guru or no guru. after all, every department in any university is guilty of that. what you are wrong about is the end product of medical school; the doctor. the truth is that those so called non gurus eventually get weeded out of the system. this is because the degree is not classified so you have to really know your onions to survive. so in medical school, the so called non gurus are weeded out while those in other departments go on to finish but probably with lower classes of their degree.

    • Swagger

      What’s tough learning biology which medicine is all about? Beyond the number of years and issue of life, can you equate study of medicine to say Real Analysis in mathematics or Quantum Physics, or even Engineering? Remind me of one treatment our state-of-the-world doctors discovered. For the sake of talking, if doctors were on the worst of strikes, wouldn’t they suspend to deal with ebola on humanitarian grounds? I think Nigerian doctors are paper-thin, heartless and low-brained brutes who care less about the peoples’ lives. Trouble is we have their kind as president, otherwise we would have better ways of dealing with them.

      • kelvin

        Swagger sir.the highest calling is a call to save life and not to solve maths.without your health u would never remember quantum physics.i advice u go abroad and see for yourself how to respect professionals engineering or medicine sir.

      • Emily

        Do u know wat it takes to sustain life? If I can read medicine, I wld be a guru in d field of quantum, am talking ur life, hw ur godamn brain works to assimilate quantum I studied in year two, I studied why oxygen is vital to humans, why u sneeze, why u cough, how sleep comes abt, how ur food is digested, i studied why it’s that u reason d way u do,u suffered from birth asphyxia hence there are some neuronal damage, this is d reason for d retardation u have, evident in ur reasoning, I STUDIED HUMANS NOT BIOLOGY DUMBHEAD

        • Usman Modibbo

          cant stop Laughing. Bio mean Life Logy means study as such any study of living things human being inclusive is Biology. as such Medicine is a Branch of Biology that studies the anatomy and Physiology as well as Biochemistry of Humans with aim of preventing diseases, treating diseases to maintain healthy body and sound mind. since the study subject is human and the fundamental basis is maintaining and sustaining Life, that makes it a branch of Biology. “The scientific study or practice of diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases or disorders of the body or mind of a person or animal.” now since it is a study and the subject is Human or Animal, that makes it Biology.

    • kelvin

      Thank you sir.God bless.

    • Lomax

      You are very much misinformed. They are not the best you would find in Secondary school classes, if you can read Yoruba and pass, you can pass in medicine but if you cannot stand long period of years in school and probably have an aversion for things like blood, dead bodies, you cannot do medicine. All what you need is average intelligence and ability to study for long and probably a shocks absorber for staying for up to 10 or 12 years in medical school for the less than average intelligent ones.They had enough time in Medical school for as much social life and relaxation they want. They deserve support only if what they are asking for is towards making the patient the King. Nobody in any government job is being paid what he or she is suppose to get.

      I don’t like medicine that was why I did not go for it. My profession was more time demanding during university days and I see my medical friends enjoy their life so smoothly. They never envied me all through. Go, seat down and analyze international practices in health systems for example, US, UK and Australia. Then you will understand why some of us want a real change in the health system and not the self centered change of the Doctors.

  • Jenny

    Pray make ur family no sick, ur body go tell u

    • Trueman

      You are so myopic. Who told you I need doctor when am sick. Infact, I have very experienced Pharmacists around my area that since if I have any slight complain when l get to their Pharmacy, they quickly attend to me and their precision in medication is awesome, not doctors that use trial and error in drugs prescription. If its surgery, l fly abroad because that is where they may be claiming an edge for now.

      • Persevere

        You are a certified ode, so pharmacists are in charge of treating medical illnesses. May your pride be your downfall. Have pharmacists started prescribing tests to do to be able to know with certainty what ails you and is there even any regulation in that sector as to who can dispense drugs…

        • Trueman

          Hide your face in shame. Your people have shamefully called themselves back to work with immediate effect without a single demands of theirs met. Lol

        • udoudo mama

          …just like doctors want to take over even lab job

    • Deidron

      Mr.

  • Ice Saint

    When you have a hernia from all these your rantings, you are free to get a nurse or a pharmacist to repair for you. ok?

    • Trueman

      Hide your face in shame. Your people have shamefully called themselves back to work with immediate effect without a single demand of theirs met. Lol

  • Trueman

    You are so pathetic in your ignorance. You are just making reference to just 2 pretentious demand out of the 24,what of the very selfish 22 others? You can’t deceive the general public all the time.

  • Tugbi

    A CMD of Teaching Hospital earns #1,800,000 monthly. The NMA want about 5 Deputies to CMD that is CMAC and 4Deputy CMAC( CMAC means chief Medical Advisory committee) at least there salary will be upto #1M/month and note ONLY Dr must be appointed This is demand no1. Mind you what will be there job? They will be entitle to official car a driver Aide just like CMD they do Administrative work such as supervision attending meeting attending panels etc less clinical work just multiply that with all the 26 Teaching Hospitals and all the Federal Medical Center FMC. If Nigerians really understand the demand of NMA which we all need to study then you will be scared.

  • A Maker D Surgeon

    If only u know a quarter of what it takes to study medicine in school, Work so hard round the clock, experience events a regular individual will see and collapse and earn peanuts I don’t think You will be here showcasing ur lousiness.

  • A Maker D Surgeon

    You are only being lousy.