The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime to ensure payment of the newly approved hazard allowance to its members within the next two months.
In a communique issued at the end of the association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Sunday in Gombe, signed by NMA president Uche Ojinmah and secretary-general Jide Onyekwelu, the association further resolved to continue the engagement using lawful means to ensure the payment of the allowance.
NMA added that it observed the slow progress towards implementing the new hazard allowance and the attempt to exclude doctors in ministries, departments, agencies (MDAs) and basic medical faculties in universities.
“NEC observed with joy the fact that Delta state government has already started paying the newly approved hazard allowance,” NMA explained. “NEC also insisted on universal applicability in the implementation of the new hazard allowance for all doctors working in federal, state and local government establishments.”
On the issue of brain drain of medical doctors, the association said it was disappointed with the failure of government at all levels to address the ‘push’ factors propelling brain drain.
The medical association further noted that unless governments deployed drastic measures to stem the tide of brain drain, the already bad national health indices may eventually spiral out of control, thereby leaving Nigeria at the bottom rung among the comity of nations.
According to the communique, the doctors decried the Buhari regime’s action through the federal health ministry in sponsoring a bill on the ‘Establishment of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Regulatory Board’ in Nigeria.
NMA also mentioned that the group observed that the bill’s components would conflict with the statutory functions of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).
The association advocated strict international health travel measures, improved international cooperation and data sharing, and rebuilt public health infrastructure to prevent and control vector-borne and zoonotic diseases.
It added that the government should institute multidisciplinary collaboration using the ‘One Health’ approach for prompt diagnosis and treatment and conduct primary and translational research in managing infectious diseases.