Federal Government has paid medical doctors in teaching hospitals and primary healthcare centres across the country hazard allowance worth N15.8 billion.
This was revealed by Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, during a meeting that was organised to review the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the government and resident doctors.
The minister also explained that the government has cleared the April and May special allowances. According to him, medical personnel can now draw their normal salaries and other allowances.
The backstory: Recall that in June, Nairametrics reported when Ngige announced that the government released the first set of N4.5 billion to 31 Federal Teaching and Medical Centres across the country. According to him, the fund was to cover hazard and inducement allowances for the month of April and May.
The payment followed threats by the resident doctors to embark on strike if their hazard allowance needs were not met. Other issues they wanted to address include deplorable state of hospitals and the lack of protective equipment for members of the union treating COVID-19 patients, which has led to the deaths of some doctors in recent times.
“The federal government has so far spent N15.8 billion naira for hazard allowances in its teaching hospitals, medical centres and some other non- COVID-19 facilities where doctors have also been treating virus cases.
“Government has cleared the April and May special allowances which is no doubt a big feat, knowing that this is for special allowances only, and at a time its earning has fallen short of the expected earning,” the minister said.
What it means: This development indicates the government’s commitment to the welfare and safety of the health workers. This is probably one of the good things that have come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. But then again, the Nigerian Government needs to do more to address the myriads of issues bedeviling the Nigerian health sector.