Fred Ezeh, Abuja
National leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has raised the alarm that the country could be on the verge of a catastrophic human resource crisis, if the current rate of migration of medical and dental practitioners overseas is not reversed.
The medical body challenged and appealed to all stakeholders to do everything within their reach to avert the pending human resource crisis, especially in medical field.
The association, again, tackled and disagreed with a statement credited to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, that Nigeria has enough medical doctors, and anyone who desires to practice abroad could do so.
NMA President, Dr. Francis Faduyile, who addressed journalists, in Abuja, yesterday, on the outcome of the 59th Annual General Conference which ended in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi State, said that NMA would continue to champion any cause that would encourage doctors to remain and practise in Nigeria.
He disclosed that NMA has lined up programmes and steps that would ensure that doctors secure good remuneration and conducive working environment to serve the medical needs of Nigerians.
In addition to that, he said the delegates registered their discontent with the treatment being received by their colleagues in Imo and Abia states, particularly as it concerns their months of unpaid salary and other entitlement.
Said Faduyile: “Doctors and other health workers at Abia State University Teaching Hospital are being owed 13 months in salaries and entitlements, while their counterparts at the State Hospital Management Board are owed 10 months salary.
“In same vein, other colleagues working with Imo State Government are being paid less 30 percent of their salary since September 2015.
“We consider the actions of these states unacceptable and must be changed.”
The NMA president said a directive has been given to its National Officers’ Committee to interface with both states’ governors, discuss the matter extensively and secure a guarantee for full payment of all accrued salaries and other entitlement to medical doctors without further delay.
The association, however, asked its National Officers’ Committee, to write a “strong worded” letter to the Federal Government on the need to urgently commence the review of Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and, failure to do that might force the NMA to declare an industrial dispute with government.