The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, has urged the National Assembly to discard the bill seeking mandatory five year service to the nation for medical and dental graduates across the country.
The President of MDCAN, Dr. Victor Makanjuola, spoke Wednesday in Jalingo, Taraba state capital, while reading a communique issued at the end of the association’s National Executive Council meeting.
He noted that the proposal was ill timed and unnecessary, when government is supposed to invest more in medical training institutes to increase the number of medical and dental graduates to bridge the shortfall of manpower in the health sector.
According to him, ”the Federal House of Representatives as matter of national interest and importance should throw away in its entirety, the bills seeking to bond fresh ,medical and dental graduates for five years before they are licensed, as this obnoxious and inhumane bill has the potential of worsening the ongoing massive brain drain in the health and medical education sectors.
“Our association will be willing to be part of any constructive engagements towards genuine efforts at stemming the tides of the ongoing brain drain in the health and medical education sectors of our economy.
“Stakeholders should devise possible means to increase the number of medical and dental doctors graduating from medical schools while improving their practice competencies. This should be in addition to increasing the number and quality of the medical teachers in the country.”
He also noted that aside increasing remuneration of health workers across the country, government must consider increasing the retirement age of medical staff in the interest of the nation.
In his words, “MDCAN insists on the upward review of CONMESS for all doctors in line with the increment of salaries made for other civil servants, without further delays.
“Substantive increase in retirement age remains one of the best ways to buffer the already dwindling numbers of health workers in Nigeria. There is need for the appropriate organ of Government to circularise and implement this policy immediately, in the interest of the Nigerian populace who are at the receiving end of the effects of the massive brain drain in the health sector.”
On the task before the incoming government at the Centre, Dr. Makanjuola said existing policies that are beneficial to Nigerians like the National Health Insurance Act passed by the National Assembly must be fully implemented to increase easy access to quality and affordable health services to all Nigerians.