Medical practitioners, under the leadership of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, have issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to meet its demands or face industrial action.
MDCAN made this known in a communique, signed by its President, Dr Victor Makanjuola, and Secretary-General, Dr Yemi Raji, on Tuesday at the end of its extraordinary National Executive Council meeting.
The NEC expressed displeasure over the non-implementation of the jointly agreed upward review of CONMESS and the introduction of Accoutrement allowance with the Nigerian Medical Association.
They said that the released circular only captured the percentage increase on the basic salary, as against applying it to both the basic salaries and all allowances except hazard allowance.
The statement read, “This error has resulted in the complete exclusion of the clinical lecturers (Honorary Consultants) from benefitting from the upward review. The commencement date for the new circular was agreed to be January 1, 2023, rather than June 1, 2023.
“We believe this error will be corrected without delay. The recent upward review of CONMESS did not take into consideration the consequences of the fuel subsidy removal and exponential inflation that has pervaded our socio-economic space in the past three months.
“Despite our association’s decision to keep faith with the engagement and negotiations with the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission for more than two years regarding the correction of the shortfalls in remuneration for Clinical Lecturers (Honorary Consultants), the issue is yet to be conclusively addressed by the Federal Government.”
The council said it observed the non-universal implementation of CONMESS for all medical and dental doctors irrespective of the agencies of the government they are working with.
However, the council also noted that government has failed to resolve the ongoing disputes with the National Association of Residents Doctors and its attendant impacts on access to health care by Nigerians, and the kidnapping of doctors in the country.
The consultants are, however, demanding the immediate review of the newly revised CONMESS 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.
The review, according to the doctors, will ensure that the clinical lecturers would benefit from the upward review.
Other demands include, “A call for the correction of the error of commencement of the implementation of the upward review of CONMESS from June 1, 2023, to January 1, 2023.
“The upward review of the CONMESS should take into consideration the impacts of the fuel subsidy removal and the high inflationary trend that is currently being experienced.