…Says FG should intensify efforts at resolving security challenges in Nigeria
By Chioma Obinna
Medical doctors under the auspices of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, have urged the Federal Government to consider the plight of university lecturers and their dependents and pay their withheld salary backlogs without further delay.
Making the call in a communiqué it issued at the end of its National Executive Council, NEC, meeting at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital New Haven, Enugu, they expressed worry over the insistence of the Federal Government not to pay the over seven months withheld salaries of the members of the Academic Staff Union of the Universities, ASUU, despite the worsening economic hardship in the country.
They urged the government to urgently consider the plights of the lecturers’ dependants and do the needful.
The Communiqué jointly signed by the MDCAN President, Dr. Victor Makanjuola and the Secretary-General, Dr. Yemi Raji also observed the increasing threats to the security of lives and properties which have continued unabated, calling on the Government to intensify efforts at resolving the security challenges in the country.
They said to provide a safe and conducive environment which will ultimately put the country on the part of sustained progress; MDCAN insisted that strict measures must, as a matter of urgency, be put in place to protect health workers in their work environments.
“The Government should curtail the activities of unpatriotic elements whose actions are responsible for these worsening security and economic situations.
“More worrisome is the upsurge in violent attacks on healthcare workers in their places of work, leading to deaths in some instances.
“This persistent insecurity also serves as a push factor for the ongoing massive brain drain in the health sector,” they noted.
They further called on Government at all levels to develop holistic healthcare policies geared towards revamping the fast-deteriorating healthcare systems in Nigeria.
“The Government should implement the approved hazard allowance for healthcare workers without further delay and pay all outstanding arrears.
vi. MDCAN once more implore well-meaning Nigerians to appeal to the government to address the shortfall in the salaries of honorary consultants, who are clinical lecturers.
“All relevant government agencies must also put a process in motion to ensure prompt release of relevant circulars to elongate the retirement age of health workers as approved by the government two years ago. In the interim, all efforts should be made to retain willing and productive consultants after the current age of retirement, as a stop-gap measure to cushion the effects of the massive brain drain in the health sector.
“Government agencies responsible for the appointments of Chief Medical Directors/Medical Directors should avoid unnecessary delays that have recently characterised the appointments of substantive CMDs/MDs.
“Hospital Management of the concerned health institutions should comply with extant laws and pay full remuneration to staff who have gone on approved sabbatical leaves.
They also stated that the appointment of the Deputy Chairmen Medical Advisory Committee is legal and necessary to improve the administrative efficiency in our various hospitals.
MDCAN enjoined citizens to come out and exercise their civic rights by voting for the candidates of their choice in a peaceful and orderly manner and urged the government to provide adequate security for the voters to prevent any forms of harassment and intimidation.
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