The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has decried the stringent conditions given by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for its members to access the N100 billion health intervention funds.
The NMA made the lamentation in a communique signed by its President, Prof. Innocent Ujah, and Secretary, Dr Philp Ekpe, and issued on Monday after its National Executive Council meeting in Awka, Anambra State.
“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,” the communique reads.
The doctors, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari and strategic stakeholders in the nation’s financial sector to prevail upon the CBN to soften the conditions.
“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.”