NMA queries overseas treatment for Yar’Adua
The statement signed by NMA’s National President and Secretary General, Doctors Prosper Ikechukwu Igboeli and Kenneth Johnson Okoro, however, “expressed deep reservations about the resort to treatment abroad by the nation’s leaders and enjoins political leaders to take measures that will engender confidence of all in our health system.”
The NEC called on the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to send a list of licensed practitioners to the NMA, which should be updated quarterly.
NEC also resolved that the development levy which the council demanded, remained suspended. Accordingly, no doctor should be asked to pay the levy before practising fee. NEC also expressed displeasure over the fact that council had not met since after inauguration by the Minister of Health over four months ago.
NEC appreciated the approval of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) for medical and dental practitioners by Yar’Adua and the efforts of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Minister and Minister of State for Health, the Minister of Labour, the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Health, the Executive Chairman and staff of National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, and the Press which culminated in the release of the CONMESS circular.
However, NEC insists that the salary structure should be applicable at all levels of government (Federal, State and Local Governments) and demands that the content of the letter on observations and request for corrections in the CONMESS earlier sent to the Minister of Health be implemented.
NEC welcomed the approval of CONHESS for other health workers but insisted that the temporary existing relativity of 4:2:1.72 in emoluments be maintained as any deviation from this is unacceptable to the NMA and will trigger industrial unrest in the health sector.
NEC condemned the applicability of the circular on tenure system to medical and dental practitioners as it will negatively affect the current laudable efforts to reform and improve the health system and indices.
NEC remarked that the services of senior doctors on CONMESS 7 (GL 17) would be most needed after eight years on this grade because of their clinical experience which would enhance their ability as trainers/clinicians, more so as many doctors on this level may still be below the age of 40 years.
“In the event that the plea to remove doctors from this application, which has been sent to the appropriate offices is ignored, the Association should not be blamed for taking extreme measures to ensure that this policy does not affect her members,” the statement further said.
In the meantime, a call on the need for all and sundry, irrespective of religious and political affiliations, to pray fervently for Yar’Adua’s quick recovery, has been made by the Taraba State House of Assembly.
The lawmakers who frowned at those calling for the invocation of section 144 of the 1999 Constitution, admonished Nigerians to hold tight to the command of both the Christian and Moslem holy books by praying earnestly for him.
Expressing the stance of the 24 members of the Assembly, the Deputy Speaker, Bishir M. Abba, said the need for all Nigerians “to be on their kneels for the speedy recovery of our president” has become vital.
Abba told journalists at the Assembly complex that several presidents of other nations had on different occasions fallen sick, citing the present predicament of the Guinean president, Italian prime minister and some Nigerians. He urged Nigerians to “learn to pray for their leaders.”