The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has given the Federal Government an ultimatum to constitute the Board of the Medical and Dental Council (MDCN) or face a legal action.
Its President, Dr. Francis Adedayo Faduyile, gave the government till September 30 to do so.
Speaking at a briefing at the end of the association’s National Executive Council (NEC), Faduyile threatened to go to court if the government failed to constitute the board.
Faduyile said it was saddening that three years after dissolving the last board, the government had not constituted a new one.
He said the government’s action has affected regulation in the sector.
Reading the communique issued at the end of the association’s NEC meeting, the president said: “The NEC called on the Federal Government to immediately re-constitute the Council of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN). The NEC also directed the National Officers’ Committee (NOC) to approach the court of law to seek for the interpretation of the statement.
”The Council shall be a body corporate in with perpetual succession” as clearly stated in the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act Cap M8. The NOC is further directed to take all necessary actions to ensure the Federal Government sets up the MDCN council on or before the September 30, 2018, being 10 weeks after the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari that the MDCN Council shall be constituted soon.’’
He continued: “NMA has decided to defend the health of Nigerians and by the 30th of September, if the council is not constituted, we will take decisive steps that will make people know that we are serious about it.
“For your information, all what the government needed is to just give only one nominee because every other member of the council are statutory members. I don’t know why it is difficult.”
Faduyile lamented: ”It is really saddening that the Federal Government has refused to constitute the council. The Nigerian Medical Association is approaching the court to seek the interpretation, that it shall be a corporate entity that is in perpetual succession. And I think that is straight forward. When the court pronounces, we can now force the government, if they are not ready to do the needful. Because as it is, medical practice in Nigeria is unregulated. As we speak, those who have run foul of the physician pledge cannot be prosecuted and it is in the interest of the public to rise up, it is you health, it is my health, we need to put things in place.
“The undergraduate medical curriculum have not been regularly updated and the world is moving far, far beyond us.
“It is not about money that we are talking about here, it is the health of the people. I would want the public to join us to tell the president that enough is enough.We want the health of our people to be properly cared for and be taking seriously.”
The NMA chief revealed that the association was in talks with the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to ensure industrial harmony.
He said: “NMA is looking at how we can have harmony within the health sector. What we are doing now is to have our own dispute resolution with some of the critical members of JOHESU so that we can solve our problems ourselves. We are looking at and we are seriously working on that.
“Not minding their request and our position, it is certain that the two of us must be able to work synergistically within the sector for the benefit of the patient.”
He added that both parties were still at the National Industrial Court (NJC).
By: Vincent Ikuomola
The Nation News
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