12TH BIENNIAL DELEGATES MEETING (BDM) OF THE MEDICAL AND DENTAL CONSULTANTS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (MDCAN) HELD FROM 30TH AUGUST TO 5TH SEPTEMBER 2021 AT EMERITUS PROFESSOR THEOPHILUS O. OGUNLESI MULTIPURPOSE HALL, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE HOSPITAL IBADAN, OYO STATE, NIGERIA.
The 12th Biennial Delegates' Meeting (BDM) of Medical and Dental Consultants' Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) was held from 30th August to 5th September 2021 at the Emeritus Professor T. O. Ogunlesi multipurpose hall, University College Hospital Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. The theme of the conference was "Strengthening the health system amidst dwindling Resources". The Executive Governor of Oyo State, His Excellency Engr. Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde was the Special Guest of Honour and was represented by the Chairman, Oyo State Hospital Management Board, Dr Gbola Adetunji, at the opening ceremony which was chaired by Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole. Prof. Jesse Abiodun Otegbayo, Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital, Ibadan was the Chief Host while Prof. Olayinka Olusola Omigbodun, Provost College of Medicine, University of Ibadan was the Co-Host. The keynote address at the opening ceremony was delivered by Hon. (Dr.) Tanko Yusuf Sununu, Chairman Federal House of Representatives' Committee on Healthcare Services.
The sub-themes were (i) Leadership and Management in the Health sector: the need for a paradigm shift (ii) Telemedicine as a tool for brain gain (iii) Artificial Intelligence: Are Nigerian doctors ready? and (iv) Medical Entrepreneurship: mobile health services, health management organisations, domiciliary services. Lectures on the sub-themes were delivered by various distinguished speakers within and outside Nigeria. The BDM honoured Dr. Adedamola Dada, The Medical Director, FMC Ebute Meta, Hon. (Dr.) Tanko Yusuf Sununu, Chairman, Federal House of Representatives' Committee on Health and Distinguished Senator Betty Apiafi, Chairman, Senate's Committee on Women Affairs for their various roles in fostering good healthcare delivery in our country. The meeting kicked off on 31st August, 2021 with a free medical outreach held at La Vie Mot Orphan and Vulnerable Children Home. Over 100 underprivileged children received various types of medical and dental care. Eye glasses were dispensed to those that needed them. Delegates also explored the tourist beauty of Ibadan with a visit to the Mapo Hall and the Bower's tower. The BDM which was attended by over 550 participants from 48 chapters of the association across the country deliberated extensively on the theme, sub-themes and numerous issues germane to the Association, the state of health care delivery in Nigeria, and the general state of the nation.
The highpoint of the meeting was the election of a new National Officers' Committee (NOC) to pilot the affairs of the association for the next two years.
The elected officers are:
|1.||Dr. Victor Makanjuola||President||UCH, Ibadan|
|2.||Prof Mohammad Aminu Mohammad||1st Vice President||AKTH, Kano|
|3.||Dr. RemigiusAzuka Obi||2nd Vice President||FMC, Asaba|
|4.||Dr. Yemi Raheem Raji||Secretary General||UCH, Ibadan|
|5.||Dr. Obioma Obikeze||Assistant Secretary General||FMC,Yenagoa|
|6.||Dr. Timothy Aladelusi||National Treasurer||UCH, lbadan|
|7.||Dr. Emeka Danielson Odai||Publicity Secretary||UBTH, Benin|
|8.||Dr. Sani Adamu||Auditor||GSU/FTH Gombe|
|9.||Prof. Titus Osita Chukwuanukwu||Editor||NJCP NAUTH, Nnewi|
|10.||Prof. Kenneth Ozoilo||Ex Officio I||JUTH, Jos|
|11.||Dr. Moses Chingle||Ex Officio II||JUTH, Jos|
The BDM observed that: The perennial low National budgetary allocation to health which is consistently below the recommended 15% as stipulated in the 2001 Abuja declaration by the African Union Heads of States and Governments has continued and has come to a paltry 4.18% in 2021. The BDM consider this as of serious concern considering the challenges faced by the health sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is renewed active mass exodus of health workers including doctors to more developed countries worsening the existing crisis in the health workforce and the attendant impact on the health system and health outcomes. Brain drain is a misnomer for this phenomenon: brain haemorrhage has become a more appropriate description. No system can survive such unmitigated haemorrhage for long. Some state governments such as Abia, Imo and Ondo are owing salaries of our members ranging from 3-16 months. The apparent inability of the Federal Government to bring an end to the lingering NARD strike of over a month shows lack of commitment of government to the wellbeing of her citizens. The 4-week extension of the earlier ultimatum of MDCAN to the Federal government of Nigeria which will expire on the 13th of September 2021 still subsists. The apparent lethargy on the part of Government agencies in the process of documentation of earlier agreement of 70 years retirement age for consultants is quite disturbing. The persistent and upward trend of insecurity in the country, with increasing cases of violence and kidnapping in virtually every part of the nation is quite disturbing and negatively affects health care delivery. BDM condemns in the strongest terms the kidnap of health workers including doctors in various parts of the country, a situation which has resulted in internal migration of doctors from areas more prone to insecurity to other areas. The unwarranted assault on the postgraduate medical Fellowship which is the highest professional and academic qualification by our members for the purposes of patient care and undergraduate and postgraduate medical training continues albeit subtly in the form of attempts to demand PhD from our members seeking Vice Chancellorship positions in different universities. And the refusal of relevant agencies to continue to accept Fellowship as the highest qualification for clinical teaching presage; an unpleasant era for medical education in our country. The failure of relevant authorities to correct the deficit in the emolument of members who are lecturers (Honorary Consultants). BDM condemned the absurdity of doing two full time jobs (University and Teaching Hospital), while being paid a salary that is less than that of one job. It also observed with heightened concern the resultant adverse effect on morale and motivation of lecturers, as well as the increasing disinclination of specialists to taking up teaching jobs, with resultant negative consequences on medical education, training and ultimately service delivery to patients in Nigeria. Conflicting circulars from different agencies of government on the same issue have been detrimental to any meaningful progress in the health system. The lack of synergy and cohesion between government agencies and officials has characterised the government system. Oftentimes they work at cross purposes, trade blames which frequently manifests in failure of the expected inter agency conversation that should underpin the running of an efficient government bureaucracy. Attempt by some officials to stop the remuneration of our members on Sabbatical leave. The need for a pragmatic leadership model in the healthcare industry to mitigate the issues of industrial disharmony that has become endemic in the sector. The recent acquisition of a property by the Association for the purpose of the National Secretariat Complex in Abuja. The smooth conduct of the proceedings of the BDM including the peaceful, transparent and rancour-free elections that produced the new National Officers' Committee to steer the affairs of the association for the next two years is commendable. After in-depth deliberations, the BDM resolved as follows: There should be deliberate increased budgetary allocation for the health sector. The administration of health system should be restructured to remove all existing fragmentation such that scarce human resources can be freely deployed to meet the health needs of the populace. Similarly, BDM calls on the FGN to decentralize the management of the federal tertiary hospitals so as to remove the need for heads of such institutions to visit Abuja almost weekly. The Federal and State governments including their relevant agencies are enjoined to ensure synergy in processes to ensure Universal Health Coverage and better health outcomes for the population. A state of emergency should be declared in the health sector to tackle the numerous problems bedeviling the sector. State governments are encouraged to ensure prompt payment of remuneration of workers especially doctor. State governments should maximise available healthcare human resources in their states through collaboration for improved health services. Intramural practice should be encouraged as a means of achieving this. This can be a veritable means of increasing patient load and wealth generation. MDCAN is fully in support of the demands of NARD since they are legitimate and genuine and implore the Federal government to quickly accede to the demands of members of the association. The BDM hopes that government and its agencies shall expeditiously attend to all the issues that led to the ultimatum including correction of income loss by some of our members. The Government and her agencies should speedily complete the necessary documentation required for Consultants to benefit from the earlier pronounced agreement of 70 year retirement age. The government and all relevant security agencies should as a matter of urgency device innovative ways to tackle the kidnappings, banditry, armed robbery and other forms of criminality in the country as existing measures have neither halted nor reversed the spate of insecurity in the country but rather have been on the increase. We urge the government to as a matter of urgency to secure the release of all health workers, school children and other Nigerians in captivity. Bandits, kidnappers and other criminals should be brought to justice immediately without fear or favour. That MDCAN continues to unequivocally reject the imposition of PhD on clinical lecturers for the purpose of career progression in Nigerian Universities. Managements of Universities engaging in practices that unfairly disenfranchise our members on the basis of non-possession of PhD are advised to refrain from such discriminatory practices forthwith. This degree has not been found inadequate in training, clinical or research endeavours, as such there is no need for PhD as a prerequisite for career progression or for occupying any post now or in the future. That the Federal government, Vice Chancellors, and relevant Government agencies should immediately ensure the proper remuneration, placement and correction of all distortions in the pay package of the clinical lecturers by implementing the CONMESS salary structure for doctors in their employment in line with the approved remuneration package for doctors in Public Service across the country. That Government at the Federal, State and Local levels and their relevant agencies concerned with health care delivery are urged to enhance synergy amongst them to ensure that information and instructions released from an agency are not at variance with previously existing leave is a paid leave and remains a legitimate right of senior civil servants in Nigeria as enshrined in the public service rule. This should not be distorted by any chief executive. Leadership and management skills are required in the health sector to mitigate the incessant industrial disharmony in the health sector. As such, the medical/dental undergraduate and postgraduate programmes/curriculum should be reviewed to accommodate pragmatic approaches in leadership. The commissioning of the National Secretariat was applauded by the BDM and the new NOC was charged with the responsibility of ensuring smooth take off of activities at the secretariat. The newly elected MDCAN NOC were congratulated and urged to confront issues adversely affecting her members and their welfare with all the vigor and seriousness they deserves. BDM also charged the NOC to continue to engage widely with relevant stakeholders on issues affecting healthcare delivery in the country.
MDCAN thanks the Government of Oyo State under the leadership of His Excellency, Engineer Abiodun Oluseyi Mak inde, Hon. (Dr.) Tanko Yusuf Sununu, Chairman, Federal House of Representatives' Committee on Healthcare Services, Professor Isaac Folorunso Adewole, the immediate past Honourable Minister of Health, Professor Adebola Babatunde Ekanola, the Acting Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Jesse Abiodun Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director and the entire board and management of the University College Hospital, Ibadan and Professor Olayinka Olusola Omigbodun, the Provost, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan for their immense support towards the success of the BDM 2021.
Dr. Victor Makanjuola
Dr. Yemi R. Raji