The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has elongated the ultimatum initially given to the Federal Government to counter all unresolved issues by an additional six weeks.

MDCAN made the development known in a statement released at the National Executive Council meeting held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Sunday.

The President, Prof Mohammed Mohammad and Secretary-General, Dr. Daiyabu Ibrahim made their signatory approval of the statement which was read in a press conference.

Although, there was an early ultimatum issued to the Federal Government by the association in 2023 which was to expire on January 31, 2024, and the decision to go on strike was to be taken at the Uyo NEC meeting.

However, the association decided to extend the ultimatum by six more weeks to allow for consultation with the government.

The association said it would no longer guarantee industrial harmony if its demands were not met after the expiration of the six weeks grace.

The NEC showed total disapproval concerning the fact that there are yet to optimize and achieve their stated goals and plans despite its diverse engagements with relevant government agencies on the demands of the association.

The communique read in part, “NEC resolved to extend the ultimatum earlier given to the government by six weeks (up to 10/03/2024), to address all pending issues between government and the association.

MDCAN cannot guarantee industrial harmony after the expiration of the above ultimatum if its demands are not met.”NEC also observed that budgetary allocation to the sector has remained at less than 5% of the budget of the country adding that Per Capital spending on health has also shown a marked Decline.

It also observed that health Care delivery has become more expensive as a result of the inflationary trend and health insurance coverage is very poor.

The communique added, “Government at all levels should endeavour to improve on its budgetary allocation to Heath sector towards attaining the Abuja Declaration of at least 15%.

“Consequently, the government should put strategies in place to improve the economy of the nation to improve the Per capita spending on health of the population.”The body also called the National Health Insurance Agency to enhance its enrollment to accommodate the vulnerable population, NEC advised the government to take steps to mitigate factors responsible for the increase in mental health disorders among medical professionals.

It further advised the government to prioritise Emergency Response Response Services across the country to address issues of morbidity, mortality and the burden of emergency cases.It advised Nigerians particularly health workers to stay cautious about Lassa Fever while observing necessary precautionary measures.

“MDCAN commiserates with the families of the victims of the Ibadan blast and the Oyo government, the government should ensure rules and regulations concerning the acquisition, transportation, storage and the use of explosives are strictly adhered to and also encourage Nigerians to be more vigilant in their areas of residence to ensure the safety of life and property.

“NEC advises all Nigerians, especially health care workers to have a high index of suspicion of Lassa Fever, and observe Universal Precaution, and the use of PPE”, the communique further stated.

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