The Federal Government has approved the appointment of retired doctors, nurses, and other clinical healthcare workers as contract staff.
However, the government stated that the appointed contract staff would be on the same salary scale level that they retired on if they desire and deserve it.
This was revealed in a circular reported by Punch and dated October 5, 2023, by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) directed the Chief Executive Agencies, Chief Medical Directors, Medical Directors, and Heads of Regulatory Bodies and Schools to ensure compliance with the circular earlier issued by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) to all staff in their institutions.
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OHCSF had in a circular dated August 30, 2023, rejected the upward review of the current retirement age of Medical/Dental Consultants and other health professionals from 60 to 70 and 75 respectively.
The circular titled ‘Re: Review of retirement age to 65 and 70 years for health professionals and medical/dental consultants,’ with reference number HCSF/SPSO/ODD/CND/100/S./145, was addressed to the Permanent Secretary FMOH.
The circular signed by the Permanent Secretary, Service Policies and Strategies Office, Olufemi Oloruntoba, for the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation read partly, “I am directed to refer to the above-mentioned memorandum presented at the 44th National Council on Establishment held from 5th-9th December 2022, in Yola, Adamawa State requesting a review of the current retirement age of Medical/Dental Consultants and other health professionals from 60 to 70 and 75 respectively
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“After careful consideration of the memorandum, the council rejected the request based on the following: Professionals in the health sector were leaving the country because of pecuniary consideration and unfavourable conditions of service and not as a result of retirement age.
“Some state government had already increased the retirement age of medical doctors and other health workers and this has not addressed the spate of brain drain.
“Council, however, approved that clinical health workers who have attained the compulsory retirement age/years may be given contract appointment on the same salary scale level that they retired on if desired and deserved.
“Government should engage the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, and the Nigerian Medical Association to extract some level of commitment from medical doctors.
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“To address the observed dissatisfaction with the attitude of health workers to work, there is a need to institutionalise an effective performance management system in the public service in order to improve the work ethics of the medical officers and consultant, and medical doctors should show more patriotism in the discharge of their duties and avoid holding the system to ransom.”