MDCAN demands payment of outstanding COVID-19 allowances for health workers

The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has demanded the federal government to ensure the payment of all outstanding COVID-19 hazard allowances to all persons entitled immediately to prevent avoidable restiveness in the health sector at this critical period.

The association said it is pertinent to note that should government(s) fail to do this, disruption of service in the healthcare sector could occur and this may lead to a reversal of the successes so far achieved and a resurgence of this dreadful disease.

This was contained in a communique read at the end of its National Executive Council meeting held in Kano on Sunday and jointly signed by the President and Secretary, Prof. Kem Ozoilo and Dr Moses Chingle respectively.

According to the communique,’’ We observe with dismay and a deep sense of disappointment the failure of Government to live up to its responsibility in regard to the payment of COVID-19 hazard allowance to all health workers as agreed to and approved by the President.

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‘’The government should be held squarely responsible for any disruption of services resulting from its failure to do so. We urge the government to as a matter of urgency, meet up all the promises it made concerning the COVID-19 allowances as the health workers have evidently discharged their duties diligently as indicated by the sustained downward trend in COVID-19 infections. We warn that any strike at this period is capable of reversing the gains so far achieved in the control of the current COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

‘’We note that this agreement was willingly negotiated and entered into by all concerned in good faith during the heat of the pandemic. It is only reasonable and honourable to ensure its full implementation.

The medical consultants in the communique expressed regret that the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has been once again forced to resort to strike to compel the government to abide by its own commitment in paying outstanding COVID-19 hazard allowances and other arrears of remunerations.

Solacebase reports that the resident doctors have issued a notice to commence a nationwide strike tomorrow Monday.

The communique urged the Kogi state government to live up to its responsibilities to its citizens by immediately bringing itself in line with the national protocols on COVID-19 control.

‘’We urge the federal government to prevail on the Government of Kogi State to create the ambience for the resumption of services at FMC Lokoja to mitigate the adverse effects of the pandemic in that environment. We hold the Kogi State Government responsible for the protection of lives and properties of our members and other health personnel providing services in health facilities located in that state.’’

It noted that the national response to COVID -19 pandemic has been robust despite the limited resources available to the country and commended the spirited efforts of the Federal Government and its agencies especially the federal ministry of health, the Nigeria centre for disease control, and the presidential task force on COVID-19 as well as State and Local Governments for the efforts that have resulted in the successes thus far achieved.

‘’We also particularly commend the tremendous efforts of the organised private sector, International Agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations for their contributions to the successes.’’

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