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Health News of Sunday, 21 November 2021

Source: punchng.com

Health workers knock FG over hazard allowance

President of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, Godiya Ishaya President of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, Godiya Ishaya

Health workers, under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Union, on Saturday berated the Federal Government over its failure to decide a harmonized rate for the new hazard allowance scale.

This is as the President of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, Godiya Ishaya, stated that the association had submitted necessary documents for the payment rates.

Sunday PUNCH had reported that NARD and JOHESU had embarked on industrial action over the failure of the government to increase the hazard allowance being paid to doctors and health workers.

As of November 20, 2021, checks by our correspondents revealed that doctors and health workers were still being paid N5,000 as hazard allowance. The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunmimbe Mamora, in a recent interview with our correspondent had stated that the Federal Government had discussed with JOHESU and NARD and had finalised plans for new payment scale for hazard allowance.

He had said, “We have also signed some agreements and the money has been captured in the 2022 appropriation budget. So, it is not out of place to say the implementation will begin in 2022.”Our patience, not foolishness – JOHESUBut the spokesperson for the health workers union, Olumide Akintayo, in a separate interview with our correspondent on Saturday, said the Federal Government was inconsistent concerning the new hazard allowance scale.

He said, “One of the reasons we have always been at loggerheads is as a result of government’s inconsistencies. You promise something, we meet with you and the moment we leave the negotiation table, you start with something else. As of yesterday (Friday), I was at the secretariat and I can tell you that there has been no update on the issue of the hazard allowance.

“During our meeting with the government, others suggested that the hazard allowance should be paid via percentages, the more you earn, the more your hazard allowance is, but the minister of state for budget and national planning told them that it was not a project that was sustainable.“Now, let them agree on a flat rate and let us know, they have refused to say anything. Presently, we can’t say if it’s going to be a flat rate or its going to be percentage.

Let the government not mistake our patience for foolishness. JOHESU can afford to go on strike but we are sensible and passionate to the appeals of Nigerians.Also, the National President of NARD told our correspondent that his association had done the needful by sending the necessary documents.

Ishaya said “Government has not fixed any rate yet. We are still waiting for the circular from NSIWC on the new hazard allowance.“On our part, we have submitted proposal for percentage of our basic salary to be used for calculating the rate so that we don’t have to come back anytime soon to negotiate for another Hazard allowance package.”

Over 9,000 Nigerian doctors in UKMeanwhile, Sunday PUNCH observed that the number of Nigerian doctors in the UK had surpassed 9,000 going by the daily rate of four Nigerian doctors being licensed in the UK per day.

Checks by our correspondent showed that at least 264 doctors had been licensed by the UK General Medical Council in the last 53 days, an average of 4.6 Nigerian doctors per day. A check on the website of the council showed that as regards the number of foreign doctors working in the UK, Nigeria comes third behind India and Pakistan which have 30,388 and 15,962 doctors respectively operating in the UK.