Doctors urge Tinubu to declare state of emergency in health sector
• NARD wants cushioning on effects of fuel subsidy removal
• Demands 200% increment in medical salary structure, associated allowances
Doctors, under the aegis of Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), have called on the Federal Government to cushion effect of fuel subsidy removal on poor Nigerians.
The doctors disclosed this in a communiqué issued, yesterday, at the end of their Ordinary General Meeting (OGM), held between May 28 and June 3, 2023, in Ikeja, Lagos.
They also advised the Federal Government to ensure money saved from removal of subsidy is put into meaningful investments, to better the lives of Nigerians. “In this case, health and education should be prioritised,” they said.
The communiqué was jointly signed by NARD President, Dr. Emeka Innocent Orji, and Secretary-General, Dr. Kelechi O. Chikezie. The association called on President Bola Tinubu to urgently declare a state of emergency in Nigeria’s health sector, saying the era of paying lip service to brain drain should be over.
It urged the Federal Government to set up a high-powered panel to review and harmonise reports from the former President Obasanjo Health Agenda for Nigeria Committee and the former Vice President Osinbajo-led Health Sector Reform Committee. This is with a view to generating a plan of action in the health sector for the Tinubu administration.
The OGM observed implementation rate of agreements reached with government, as contained in a Memorandum of Understanding signed on May 19, 2023, and concluded it could be better.
The meeting reiterated rejection of a 35 per cent/25 per cent increment in Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS) salary structure and insisted on, at least, 200 per cent increment, with additional allowances, as contained in the association’s letter to the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Health, on July 7, 2022.
“We have resolved to give the new government some time to quickly resolve this issue, which is at the root of the current spate of massive brain drain in the sector,” it noted.
The OGM, tagged ‘Eko 2023’, was hosted by the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos. The theme was: ‘Redefining Healthcare Policies to Cater for Present Realities’. The sub-theme was: ‘Violence against Healthcare Providers: One Crime too Many’.
The OGM also condemned deplorable state of affairs at General Hospital Ilorin, where severe manpower shortage, owing to poor remuneration, has allegedly worsened burnout syndrome among NARD members.