BY ADA DIKE
The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the federal government to implement the upward review of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and other demands.
This was contained in a communique issued a few days ago after its National Executive Council meeting.
The association said it could “no longer guarantee the present relative industrial harmony within the public hospitals and our medical schools if the issues were not satisfactorily resolved.”
Signed by the president of the association, Victor Makanjuola and the Secretary-General, Yemi Raji, the association in the comminique said it observed with dismay, the non-implementation of the jointly agreed upward review of CONMESS and the introduction of accoutrement allowance with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
They said the released circular only captured the percentage increase on the basic salary, as against applying it to both the basic salary and all allowances except hazard allowance.
“This error has resulted in the complete exclusion of the clinical lecturers (Honorary Consultants) from benefitting from the upward review,” it said.
MDCAN said the commencement date for the new circular was agreed to be the 1st of January 2023 rather than the 1st of June 2023.
The association said the recent upward review of CONMESS did not take into consideration the consequences of the fuel subsidy removal and exponential inflation that has pervaded the socioeconomic space in the past three months.
The communique read in part, “Despite our association’s decision to keep faith with the engagement and negotiations with the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) 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 medical and dental consultants demanded the immediate review of the newly revised CONMESS circular and the issuance of a new circular that would reflect the agreed percentage on both the basic salary and other allowances, apart from hazard allowance.
They said this would ensure that the clinical lecturers (Honorary Consultants) would benefit from the upward review.
“A call for the correction of the error of commencement of the implementation of the upward review of CONMESS from 1st June 2023 to 1st January 2023,” they said.
While demanding that the upward review of the CONMESS should take into consideration the impacts of the fuel subsidy removal and the high inflationary trend currently being experienced, they appealed for the universal applicability of CONMESS to all medical and dental doctors, particularly those in public universities.
MDCAN also demanded 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.
It called on the government to as a matter of urgency resolve all the contending issues with the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), and also ensure the safety of MDCAN members and other Nigerians while effecting the immediate and safe release of those currently held captive by kidnappers.