FG approves contract jobs for retired doctors
The Federal Government has approved the appointment of doctors, nurses, and other clinical healthcare personnel as contract employees once they reach the mandatory retirement age or years.
The government, on the other hand, stated that newly appointed contract employees would be paid at the same wage scale level as those who retired if they desired and deserved it.
A circular from the Federal Ministry of Health, dated October 5, 2023, instructed the Chief Executive Agencies, Chief Medical Directors, Medical Directors, and Heads of Regulatory Bodies and Schools to ensure adherence to the circular previously issued by the Office of the Federation’s Head of Civil Service to all staff in their institutions.
The office of the 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 of the 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.
“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 unfavorable 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.”
It also said it was dissatisfied with health workers’ attitude to work, noting that in spite of efforts by the government to encourage health workers, the exodus of health workers had not abated.
“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.
“To address the observed dissatisfaction with the attitude of health workers to work, there is a need to institutionalize 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,” it added.
As a result, the FMoH issued a circular urging all agency executives, Chief Medical Directors, Medical Directors, and Heads of Regulatory Bodies and Schools to strictly adhere to the OHCSF instructions.
The circular, C.4007/T.2/37, was signed by the Deputy of Appointment, Promotion, and Discipline, Daloba Paul Edward, for the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate.