The Nigerian Medical Association attacks the rigid conditions given by the Central Bank of Nigeria before its members would access the N100 billion health intervention funds.
The NMA also called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and stakeholders in financial sector if the country to persuade the CBN to soften the conditions, due to the current state of the nation’s health sector as exposed by the COVID – 19 pandemic.
The NMA disclosed this in a communiqué issued on Monday after its National Executive Council meeting in Awka with the theme: ‘Medical Doctors, politics and leadership in the Society” and the Sub-theme, “Managing mental health in a COVID-19 depressed economy.’
The document signed by NMA President, Prof. Innocent Ujah, and Secretary, Dr Philp Ekpe, resumed its demand for the establishment of the National Health Bank in order to accelerate the infrastructure, obatainment of the state-of-the-equipment that helps to provide world-class health care for Nigerians in order to change medical tourism.
The communique reads, “The NMA is saddened by the mounting difficulties faced by members especially the private health sector organizations in accessing the CBN’s N100 billion health intervention funds contrary to expectations.
“We call upon His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, political leaders, strategic stakeholders in the nation’s financial sector and the entire citizens to prevail upon the CBN to soften and modify the conditionalities for accessing the health Intervention loan especially given the current state of the nation’s health sector as exposed by the COVID – 19 pandemic.
“More deliberate and strategic efforts must be made by governments to ensure the return home of the Nigerian Doctors and other health professionals in diaspora to contribute their quota to the improvement of healthcare delivery services as well as national growth and development.
“Privileged Nigerians should demonstrate open confidence in the nation’s healthcare delivery system and as well as patriotism by patronising the services. We call on the Federal Government to commence negotiations with NMA on the 2019 Collective Bargaining Agreements.
“We intensify the call on the Federal Government and its security agencies to assess and evaluate the current strategies on the security situation and commit to more effective reforms in order to secure Nigerians wherever they are in the country.
“The NMA will continue to strategically engage appropriate quarters in order to achieve the implementation of the extension of the retirement age of medical and dental practitioners in Nigeria to 65 years; special pension benefits as contained in circular I of 1991; restoration of the Medical Salary System Scale; implementation of the CONMESS for Medically qualified Lecturers and its universal applicability for doctors in the employment of States and Local Government councils.”