The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has urged the government to reabsorb retired consults into the health sector.
The professional group gave the advice while expressing concern over the massive brain drain in the nation’s health sector.
It said many consultants who had reached retirement age were still very productive.
The association made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Enugu, the Enugu State capital.
In the communiqué jointly signed by Dr. Victor Makanjuola and Dr Yemi R. Raji, the National President and the Secretary-General, respectively, the MDCAN lamented that there is a persisting and deteriorating shortage in medical manpower, cutting across all levels and cadres of health professionals, resulting in failure to fill up advertised vacancies by most of the hospitals in the country.
This, the association said, had created pressure on those on ground and further compounding the existing challenge.
“The shortage of healthcare manpower has impacted negatively on the quality of healthcare services offered to the citizens. In addition, the wellbeing of the few remaining healthcare workers is equally not spared as many often suffer burnout”, the communiqué said.
To this end, the consultants said, “All relevant government agencies must also put process in motion to cause the release of relevant circulars to elongate the retirement age of health workers as approved by government two years ago.
“In the interim all efforts should be made to retain willing and productive consultants after the current age of retirement, as a stop gap measure to cushion the effects of the massive brain drain in the health sector.
“The Government at all levels are encouraged to develop holistic healthcare policies geared towards revamping the fast deteriorating healthcare systems in Nigeria.
“The Government should implement the approved hazard allowance for healthcare workers without further delay and pay all outstanding arrears.
“MDCAN once more implores on wel-meaning Nigerians to appeal to the government to address the shortfall in the salaries of honorary consultants, who are clinical lecturers”.