Medical, Dental Consultants to Decide on Strike September

The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria on Sunday said it will hold its National Executive Council meeting next month to decide if it will embark on a nationwide strike.

The President of MDCAN, Dr Victor Makanjuola disclosed this to our correspondent in a telephone interview.

The association had in a communique issued a 21-day ultimatum to the FG to meet its demands or face an industrial disharmony following the NEC meeting it held on August 7, 2023.

The ultimatum ends today (Monday), August 28, 2023.

But, Dr Makanjuola told our correspondent that the association was giving the government till August 31, 2023, to meet its demands since it received the letter for the ultimatum on August 11, 2023.

He said: “The ultimatum ends on August 28, if we count from the day we held our NEC meeting, but the government got the letter on the 11th. Since we are having our Biennial Delegate Meeting from September 4th to 10th, the decision to proceed on strike or not will be taken when we have our meeting there. So if nothing happens around that time which will be around August 31, then we will make our decision at the NEC meeting.

“We are giving the government till August 31. So, we have to hold our NEC meeting to decide if there would be a strike or not. Assuming there is no NEC meeting coming up, we would have called an emergency NEC meeting to make our decision.”

“The consultants are demanding immediate review of the newly revised Consolidated Medical Salary Structure circular and issuance of a new circular that would reflect the agreed percentage on both the basic salary and other allowances, apart from hazard allowance as this will ensure that clinical lecturers (Honorary Consultants) would benefit from the upward review.

“They also want the correction of the error of commencement of the implementation of the upward review of CONMESS from June 1, 2023, to January 1, 2023.”

Others are “A demand that the upward review of the CONMESS should take into consideration the impacts of the fuel subsidy removal and the high inflationary trend that was currently being experienced. A demand for the immediate implementation and circularisation of the agreed modalities for correcting the shortfalls in remunerations of Clinical Lecturers (Honorary Consultants).

“An appeal for the universal applicability of CONMESS to all Medical and Dental doctors, particularly those in the public universities. The attention of the government is once again called to the impact of brain drain in the health sector, which is contributing to burnout among our members and an inadequate healthcare workforce to cater to the health of Nigerians. We, therefore, demand the immediate implementation of the upward review of age retirement to 70 years for Consultants and 65 years for other Health workers, as an immediate measure to bridge the ongoing massive brain drain,” among others.

Makanjuola listed the implementation of the upward review of age retirement, the immediate implementation and circularisation of the agreed modalities for correcting the shortfalls in remunerations of clinical lecturers (Honorary Consultants), and ensuring the safety of doctors as minimum conditions the government must meet for the doctors not to embark on strike.