Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has urged the federal government to set in motion the process that will lead to renegotiation of the allowances payable to doctors in the public sector.
The demand by the doctors came just as the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige assured that the federal government has made adequate provisions for the health sector in the next year’s budget.
The National President of NMA, Dr. Francis Faduyile who led other members of the national executive of the association to a courtesy visit to Ngige, said that doctors do not have any issue against the newly negotiated minimum wage adjustment.
Faduyile however said that the association is studying the agreement and will not hesitate to raise objections where necessary.
He drew the attention of the minister to the poor state of facilities at the government-owned hospitals, especially the primary healthcare centres located in the rural areas.
He also complained about the lack of resident doctors to man the healthcare centres.
The NMA scribe urged federal and state governments to consider opening up opportunities for engagement of fresh doctors to help fill the vacancies existing in the hospitals.
He however expressed displeasure that the association was slowed to take part in the consequential adjustment negotiation.
Faduyile specifically said that among the allowances that are due for renegotiation is the doctor’s hazard allowance.
While responding, Senator Ngige assured the doctors that just as their interest was adequately catered for during the minimum wage negotiation, the federal government has given the health sector its fair share in the 2020 budget appropriation.
He promised the doctors that their hazard allowance that is due for review will be taken up.