NMA Issues Ultimatum to FG on Salary Review, Threatens Industrial Action

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has set a deadline of January 31, 2024, for the federal government to implement the upward review of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS).

Dr. Uche Ojinmah, the association’s President, announced the request during the closing ceremony of the NMA’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja.

Dr. Ojinmah emphasized that the association cannot guarantee industrial harmony in the health sector unless its demands, particularly those related to welfare, are addressed.

He urged the federal government to act promptly and implement the approved accruement allowance, including arrears from June 2022.

Expressing the association’s patience with the government, Dr. Ojinmah raised concerns about the lack of clarity regarding the implementation timeline for approved allowances since July 1, 2023.

He called on the government to take swift action in addressing doctors’ concerns, highlighting the sacrifices made by medical professionals.

The NMA also called for implementing mechanisms that enable private hospitals to handle emergency cases.

While commending the government’s directive for doctors in both private and public hospitals to attend to medical emergencies, Dr. Ojinmah raised questions about the payment responsibility for emergency cases in private hospitals.

He emphasized the need for a universal health coverage (UHC) mechanism where health insurance covers emergency cases, particularly since the basic healthcare fund intended for this purpose has not been implemented.

Dr. Ojinmah urged the government to stop paying lip service to emergency healthcare and address the fundamental issues before issuing directives.

Regarding the directive to treat gunshot injury patients without police reports, Dr. Ojinmah assured that medical doctors were ready to comply.

However, he called on the Inspector-General of Police to ensure that police officers adhered to the directive and refrained from unnecessary harassment of doctors handling emergency cases.

The NMA’s ultimatum signals the urgency of addressing healthcare professionals’ concerns to avoid potential disruptions in the health sector.

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About the Author: Olusola Sorinmade

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