Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The National Leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says that Nigeria could be on the verge of a catastrophic human resource health crisis if the current rate of migration of medical and dental practitioners overseas is not reversed.
The NMA appealed to all stakeholders to do everything within their reach to avert what is characterises as an impending medical crisis.
The Association disagreed with a statement attributed to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, that Nigeria has enough medical doctors, and that anyone that desire to practice abroad could go.
NMA President Dr Francis Faduyile, who addressed journalists in Abuja on Thursday on the outcome of their 59th Annual General Conference that ended in Abakaliki, said that NMA would continue to champion any course that would encourage doctors to remain and practice in Nigeria.
He disclosed that NMA has lined up programmes and steps that would ensure that doctors secure good remuneration and conducive working environments to serve the medical needs of Nigerians.
In addition to that, Faduyile 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 salaries and other entitlements.
“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 arrears,” he observed.
“In the same vein, other colleagues working with the Imo astate government are being paid less than 30 percent of their salaries since September 2015. We consider the actions of these states unacceptable and must be changed.”
The NMA president said that directive has been given to its National Officers’ Committee to interface with both states’ governors, to discuss the matter extensively and secure a guarantee for full payment of all accrued salaries and other entitlements to medical doctors without further delay.
The Association 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), saying failure to do so might force NMA into an industrial dispute with the government.