In a swiftly evolving development, the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria has poised itself on the cusp of a significant decision that could reverberate across the nation’s healthcare landscape. The Association has disclosed plans to convene its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in the upcoming month, where a critical verdict regarding a potential nationwide strike will be deliberated. This decision follows a series of escalating actions set in motion by the association to advance their demands for comprehensive reform within the medical sector.
Critical Decision Looms
The President of MDCAN, Dr. Victor Makanjuola, divulged in an exclusive telephone interview that the forthcoming National Executive Council meeting will be the pivotal juncture at which the fate of a nationwide strike will be sealed. This meeting, scheduled to transpire next month, holds the power to reshape the medical landscape as the association members decide whether to proceed with industrial action.
Ultimatum’s Ticking Clock
The association had earlier dispatched a strong 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, demanding the fulfillment of their set stipulations or risking a surge of industrial unrest. This ultimatum, having commenced on August 7, 2023, is poised to culminate on Monday, August 28, 2023. However, Dr. Makanjuola underscored that the ultimatum timeline should be recalibrated, considering the government received the ultimatum letter on August 11, 2023.
Augmented Demands for Sector Overhaul
The resolute association has articulated a series of comprehensive demands that they believe are pivotal to rectifying the challenges plaguing the healthcare sector. These include revising the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) to reflect agreed-upon percentages on basic salary and allowances, aside from hazard allowances. Also, the consultants are calling for the correction of the commencement date for the implementation of the revised CONMESS. Furthermore, they emphasize the immediate incorporation of fuel subsidy removal and the current inflationary trends into the upward review of CONMESS.
As the anticipation builds and the clock ticks toward the NEC meeting, Dr. Makanjuola stressed the gravity of the moment. “We are giving the government till August 31,” he asserted. The nuances of this complex situation and the Association’s unwavering stance highlight the imminent crossroads at which Nigeria’s healthcare landscape currently stands. Makanjuola eloquently elucidated, “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.” The intricate interplay of factors at play serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring struggle to balance the medical practitioners’ demands with the nation’s pressing healthcare needs.