Doctors under the umbrella of the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), which last week threatened to withdraw their services yesterday over unpaid entitlements, welfare packages and conditions of service, have extended the ultimatum by four weeks.
MDCAN President, Prof. Ken Ozoilo, who disclosed this said: “In view of the current challenges in the health sector and the commitment of the Minister of Labour, the National Executive Council (NEC) of MDCAN has extended the strike ultimatum by four weeks.”
Already, public hospitals in the country are operating at a very minimal level; following the on-going strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) as the majority of people seeking healthcare had been forced to seek alternative means of health services.
Ozoilo said the MDCAN planned strike had become necessary as all efforts to engage various arms and agencies of government in the past 10 years in order to address their demands, had failed.
While noting that the strike would have a devas tating effect on medical education and clinical services across the country, MDCAN lamented that its members were unhappy with the unfair labour treatment they were receiving from their employers.
In a communiqué issued three weeks ago, the NEC of MDCAN, had observed that its members had suffered massive income loss in the past 10 years, which was the reason why they had to do two full time jobs in both the universities and the teaching hospitals.
They explained that the income loss extended into retirement as their retirement benefits were much reduced due to the income loss incurred in the university, in addition to that, their work in the teaching hospital was undercompensated, and also the fact that the remuneration system in the university did not recognise them as doctors, despite the fact that the university primarily employed them because of the fact that they were doctors.
They also observed that the income loss had led to the increasing difficulty in attracting the brightest and the best of consultants into the university as lecturers,
a steady exodus of the few doctors in academia to service centres and a worsening of the brain drain phenomenon.