The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria has extended the ultimatum earlier issued to the Federal Government to address all pending issues by six more weeks.

MDCAN made this known in a communique issued at the end of its National Executive Council meeting held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Sunday.

The communique which was read during a press conference was signed by its President, Prof Mohammad Mohammad and Secretary-General, Dr. Daiyabu Ibrahim.

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Recall that there was an ultimatum handed to the Federal Government by the association in 2023 which was to expire on January 31, 2024, and the decision to go on strike was to be taken at the Uyo NEC meeting.

However, the association decided to extend the ultimatum by six more weeks to allow for consultation with the government.

The association said it would no longer guarantee industrial harmony if its demands were not met after the expiration of the six weeks grace.

The NEC expressed dismay that despite its numerous engagements with relevant government agencies on the demands of the association, much is yet to be achieved.

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It also observed that the issue of shortfall in salaries/income loss by Honorary consultants (Clinical lecturers) occasioned by the failure of the government to implement universal applicability of CONMESS to all medical and dental officers in public service and increase (harmonisation) in retirement age of hospital consultants, among others are yet to be addressed fully.

The communique read in part, “NEC resolved to extend the ultimatum earlier given to the government by six weeks (up to 10/03/2024), to address all pending issues between government and the association. MDCAN cannot guarantee industrial harmony after the expiration of the above ultimatum if its demands are not met.”

NEC also observed that budgetary allocation to the sector has remained at less than 5% of the budget of the country adding that Per Capital spending on health has also shown a marked decline

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It also observed that health Care delivery has become more expensive as a result of the inflationary trend and health insurance coverage is very poor.

The communique added, “Government at all levels should endeavour to improve on its budgetary allocation to Heath sector towards attaining the Abuja Declaration of at least 15%.

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“Consequently, the government should put strategies in place to improve the economy of the nation to improve the Per capita spending on health of the population.”

While calling on the National Health Insurance Agency to improve its enrollment to accommodate the vulnerable population, NEC advised the government to take steps to mitigate factors responsible for the increase in mental health disorders among medical professionals.

It further advised the government to prioritise Emergency Response Response Services across the country to address issues of morbidity, mortality and the burden of emergency cases.

NEC commiserated with the families of the Ibadan blast and the Oyo state government and called on the government to ensure that rules and regulations concerning the acquisition, transportation and storage of explosives are strictly adhered to.

It further advised all Nigerians particularly health workers to have high suspicion of Lassa Fever and observe necessary precautionary measures.

“MDCAN commiserates with the families of the victims of the Ibadan blast and the Oyo government, the government should ensure rules and regulations concerning the acquisition, transportation, storage and the use of explosives are strictly adhered to and also encourage Nigerians to be more vigilant in their areas of residence to ensure the safety of life and property.

“NEC advises all Nigerians, especially health care workers to have a high index of suspicion of Lassa Fever, and observe Universal Precaution, and the use of PPE”, the communique further stated.