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MDCAN threatens strike, gives FG 21-day ultimatum

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Medical education and clinical services in teaching hospitals may be disrupted if the Federal Government and its agencies fail to meet the demands of the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN).

The association announced it was giving the authorities a 21-day ultimatum beginning midnight yesterday (Monday, July 26) to withdraw a letter directing the removal of doctors from the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

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“If our minimum demands are not met by Monday, August 16, 2021, we shall have no alternative but to withdraw the services of our members from all institutions in which they are employed. The strike shall be total, absolute, and indefinite.

“We hope the government and its relevant agencies will seize this opportunity to prevent another unnecessary round of disruptions to medical education and clinical services across the country,” the association said.

The national president of MDCAN, Prof. Ken Ozoilo, told newsmen in Jos, yesterday, that the ultimatum was part of resolutions that reached its virtual emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.

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He said the NEC issued the ultimatum as “a notice of its resolve and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the NSIWC letter Ref no: SWC/S/04/S.410/T/86 of April 23, 2021, directing the removal of doctors from CONMESS on the IPPIS platform in the university.”

The association demanded: “Immediate placement of all clinical lecturers in the remaining universities on the CONMESS scale for the purpose of their remuneration in the university. Alternatively, award of compensation for the income loss incurred by doctors in the university on account of being lecturers, provided that this shall also reflect in their pension contributions.

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“A directive that doctors migrating from teaching hospitals to universities upon completion of residency training should do so with their salaries personal to them. The practice whereby senior registrars lose income when they migrate from teaching hospitals to become Lecturer 1 in the university is no longer acceptable.”

He said the meeting observed that the income loss suffered by consultants who are clinical lecturers in universities has gone on for over 10 years. He regretted that they do two full-time jobs in universities and teaching hospitals but receive an emolument less than what one job offers.

He said: “This income loss is the result of the fact that their work in the teaching hospital is under-compensated and also that the remuneration system in the university does not recognise them as doctors, despite the fact that the university primarily employs them because of the fact that they are doctors.”

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