Nigeria (Common Wealth) _ Under the patronage of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), doctors have requested the federal government to mitigate the adverse effects of the termination of fuel subsidies for low-income Nigerians.
The doctors made this announcement in a communiqué released after the conclusion of the Ordinary General Meeting OGM, held in Ikeja, Lagos, between May 28 and June 3, 2023.
They also provided the Federal Government instructions on how to make sure that the money saved through the removal of the subsidy would be used appropriately to enhance the lives of Nigerians. In this scenario, Health and education must be prioritized, they vehemently emphasized.
With the signatures of Dr. Emeka Innocent Orji, president of NARD, and Dr. Kelechi O. Chikezie, secretary-general the communiqué further urged President Bola Tinubu to swiftly proclaim a state of emergency in Nigeria’s health sector, arguing that the time for merely expressing concern over brain drain should be ended.
It recommended the Federal Government convene a high-powered body to examine and synchronize recommendations from the Health Agenda for Nigeria Committee headed by former President Obasanjo and the Health Sector Reform Committee headed by former Vice President Osinbajo. This is done in an effort to help the Tinubu government come up with a plan of action for the health sector.
According to a Memorandum of Understanding agreed on May 19, 2023, the OGM observed the implementation rate of agreements reached with the administration and came to the conclusion that it could be higher.
The Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS) salary structure was again rejected at the meeting, and it was demanded that there be at least a 200% increase with additional allowances, as stated in the association’s letter to the federal government, via the Federal Ministry of Health, on July 7, 2022.
We have decided to allow the new administration some time to swiftly address this problem, which is the cause of the current wave of significant brain emigration from the industry, the statement said.
The Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), located in Idi-Araba, Lagos, held the OGM, which was dubbed “Eko 2023.” ‘Redefining Healthcare Policies to Cater to Present Realities’ was the theme. ‘Violence against Healthcare Providers: One Crime Too Many’ was the sub-theme.
The OGM also denounced the appalling conditions at General Hospital Ilorin, where NARD members’ burnout syndrome is supposedly getting worse due to a serious staffing shortage caused by inadequate pay.