11TH BIENNIAL DELEGATES’ MEETING (BDM) OF MEDICAL AND DENTAL CONSULTANT’S ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (MDCAN) HELD FROM 26TH AUGUST TO 1ST SEPTEMBER 2019 AT STEFFAN HOTEL AND SUITES, JOS, PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA COMMUNIQUE
The 11th Biennial Delegates’ Meeting (BDM) of Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) was held from the 26th August to 1st September, 2019 at Steffan Hotel and Suites, Jos Plateau State, Nigeria. The theme of the conference was “Primary Healthcare: 40years after Alma-Ata”.
The Executive Governor of Plateau State, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Barr. Simon Bako Lalong, was the special guest of honour and he was represented by Dr. Martin Azzuwut, permanent secretary of Plateau State Ministry of Health. Engr. Barth Nwibe, Chairman, Management Board of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) was the Guest of Honour at the opening ceremony which was chaired by Distinguished Senator I.D. Gyang (Plateau North) who was represented by his aide Mr. Basson Sunday; Prof Edmond Banwat, Chief Medical Director, JUTH was the Chief Host
The sub theme lectures were “Research A Veritable Tool in Advancing Healthcare Systems in Nigeria”, delivered by Prof. Innocent Achanya Ujah, mni, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, and former Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR). Other were “Universal Health Coverage: Between Expectations and Reality” delivered by Prof A.I. Zoakah, Consultant Public Health Physician, Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), “Maternal Mortality; Current Perspectives in the Nigerian Health System” delivered by Prof. A.S. Sagay, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, JUTH and “Mental Health and the Health Worker” delivered by Prof. J.T. Obindo, Consultant Psychiatrist, JUTH.
The BDM which was attended by about 300 delegates from 60 chapters of the association across the length and breadth of the country deliberated extensively on the theme and numerous issue germane to the Association, the state of health care delivery in Nigeria, and the general state of the nation.
The meeting was kicked car on 26th August, 2019 with a free medical outreach for the forbur community in Jos East Local Government Area of Plateau State where over 1,300 indigent patients received medical services and 22 minor surgical operations performed.
On the 28th August, 2019, a manuscript writing workshop was held at the Elliel Centre. Rayfield, Jos with 220 participants. On 29th August, 2019, members explored the rich natural tourist beauty of the Plateau with a bird watching expedition to the AP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLRORI), Jos.
The highpoint of the meeting was the election of a new set of National Officers’ Committee (NOC) to pilot the affairs of the association for the next two years. The officers are:
- Prof. Kenneth Ozoilo – President JUTH, Jos
- Dr. Victor Makanjuola – 1st Vice President UCH, Ibadan
- Dr. Robsam Ohayi – 2nd Vice President ESUTH, Enugu
- Dr. Moses Chingle – Secretary General JUTH, Jos
- Dr. Lucky Onotai - Assistant Secretary General UPTH, Port Harcourt
- Dr. Femi Taiwo – Treasurer JUTH, Jos
- Dr. Abidemi Omonisi – Publicity Secretary EKSUTH, Ado Ekiti
- Dr. Stella Filani – Auditor General Hospital, Ilorin
- Prof. Stanley Anyanwu – Editor NJCP NAUTH Nnewi
- Prof. Ngim Ngim – Ex Officio I UCTH, Calabar
- Dr. Affiong Ibanga – Ex Officio II UCTH, Calabar
The BDM observed that:
- The inability of government at all levels to provide essential health care to its citizens according to he dictates of the Alma-Ata declaration of 1978 despite so much investment in ensuring universal health coverage is regrettable.
- The rising trend of insecurity in the country, with increasing cases of violence and kidnapping in virtually every part if the nation, was quite disturbing and negatively affects health care delivery. BDM condemned in the strongest terms the recent armed attack on the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, and kidnapping of the Chief Medical Director of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Professor S.A. Okogbenin, who are both members of our association.
- The recurrent issue of the proposal by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to impose the PhD on clinical specialists as a prerequisite for career progression in the Nigerian University system regrettable. The failure to put this matter to rest despite several stakeholder meetings and spirited efforts at constructive engagement on initiated by the immediate past NOC was equally decried
- The failure of relevant authorities to correct the deficit m 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 to 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.
- 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 was satisfactory.
- The recent acquisition of a piece of land by the Association for the purpose of building the National Secretariat Complex in Abuja is heart-warming and commendable.
After in-depth deliberations, the BDM resolved as follows:
- 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 for the purpose of ensuring Universal Health Coverage to all Nigerians according to the dictates of the Alma-Ata declaration.
- That urgent steps should be taken by the Government to halt and reverse the current spate of insecurity in the country. Security agencies are called upon to redouble their effort at bringing to an end the incidents of violence and armed criminality across the country. The federal Government and all her security apparatuses arc urged to, as a matter of urgency secure the immediate release of our colleague and other Nigerians in similar predicaments, and bring their abductors, to justice)
- 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 urged to desist such discriminatory practices forthwith.
- That the Federal government, Vice Chancellors, and relevant Government agencies should as a matter of urgency, commence the correction of the distortion in the pay package of the lecturer consultants 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.
- The newly elected MDCAN NOC were congratulated and urged to confront issues adversely affecting her members with all the vigor and seriousness it deserves. BDM also charged the NOC to continue to engage widely with relevant stakeholders on issues affecting healthcare delivery in the country.
- The NOC and all members are charged to see to the diligent prosecution of the MDCAN secretariat building project in Abuja, and ensure its timely delivery.
MDCAN thanks the Government of Plateau State, Hon. Ibrahim Agwom Adang, Chairman of Jos East L.G.A, and the good people of Plateau State for providing support and a peaceful environment to enable us conduct our meeting. We also thank Professor Edmond Banwat, Chief Medical Director JUTH and the entire Board and management for their support for the meeting.
Prof. Kenneth Ozoilo
Dr. Moses Chingle