The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to declare a state of emergency in the health sector to address the menacing brain drain.
It noted that while most doctors are competent and patriotic, the poor working environment, welfare, insecurity, among others, pushed many to seek greener pastures abroad.
The union insisted on at least a 200 per cent increment in the basic salary of its members, with the additional allowances, as contained in the letter it sent to the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health on July 7, 2022.
The NARD expressed shock over the recent increase in the prices of petroleum products, following the removal of subsidy, saying this would propel an increased inflation rate and cost of living.
The union urged the government to put measures in place to cushion the effect of subsidy removal on poor Nigerians.
The statement by NARD President, Dr. Emeka Orji, reads: “We call on the President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to, as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency in the Nigerian health sector as the era of paying lip service to the monster called ‘brain drain’ should be over.
“We urge the government to set up a high-powered panel to review and harmonise the reports from the former President Obasanjo Health Agenda for Nigeria Committee and the former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led Health Sector Reform Committee in order to generate a plan of action in the Health sector for the President Tinubu-led administration.
“We insist on the demand for at least 200 per cent increment in the CONMESS salary structure and the associated allowances, as contained in our letter to the government, dated July 7, 2022. We have resolved to give the new government some time to quickly resolve this issue which is at the root of the current spate of massive brain drain in the sector.”
NARD added: “We call on Governors Adedapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Alex Otti of Abia State, Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq of Kwara State and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to urgently look into the situation in the Health sector in their states since these are capable of breaking down the industrial peace in their states.
“We call on the management of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and the Lagos State Governor to discontinue the demand for bench fees as this contravenes the decision of the National Council on Establishment to abolish the fees.
“We call on the West African Colleges of Surgeons and Physicians to immediately discontinue the practice of charging our members using parallel market exchange rates.
“We call on the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to stop the downgrading of the membership certificate as this is not the practice in sister African countries that share the same certificate.”