JOHESU seeks consultancy status for pharmacists
…as medical workers get N47b hazards allowance yearly
The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) have called on the Federal Government to implement consultancy status for pharmacists in Federal Health Institutions (FHIs).
This comes as the Federal Government will from the 2022 budget year set aside N47 billion for the payment of hazard allowances for medical workers.
A communique issued at the end of a joint meeting of the two bodies in Abuja also urged the Federal Ministry of Health to sanction erring Chief Executive Officers of FHIs that refuse to implement the circular.
The communique, which was signed by the Acting National Secretary, Mathew Ajorutu, said less than 10 out of the 56 FHIs in the country have implemented the circular so far.
It said: “We call on the Federal Ministry of Health to immediately circularise positions canvassed by JOHESU/AHPA to sanction erring Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Federal Health Institutions that refused to implement the Circular on Consultant Cadre from the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation for Pharmacists which have been implemented by less than 10 of the 56 FHIs in the country.”
JOHESU/AHPA applauded the decision of the meeting held with the Federal Government to guarantee the participation of all the five trade unions and AHPA at the sessions relating to adjustment of CONHESS, noting with strong emphasis that this guarantees the laudable spirit of participatory industrial democracy.
The two unions also welcomed the constitution of a seven-man technical team at the meeting comprising two representatives of JOHESU, and one representative each of the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Budget Office, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Federal Ministry of Health, Head of Civil Service of the Federation and Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
They called on the technical team to fulfil its mandate of coming up with an acceptable sum dedicated to the utilisation of adjustment of CONHESS within a reasonable timeline.
JOHESU/AHPA said it mandated the Federal Government team led by the Minister of Labour and Employment/Chief Conciliator of the Federal Government to ensure that whatever sum was approved for adjustment of CONHESS was accommodated in the 80 Billion Budget proposal for salary adjustment of the Federal Ministry of Health or other sources the Federal Government employs in defraying such emergency expenditure.
Welcoming the emergence of a new leadership of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the subsequent suspension of its 63 days industrial action, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige insisted that the Federal Government did not owe any doctor up till August 2, 2021, when NARD embarked on the strike, although there were contentions about allowances such as the Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) and some doctors who were not paid the Special COVID-19 allowances.
The Minister also hinted that the government has increased the aggregate money in the 2022 budget for hazard allowance from N40 billion to N47 billion.
Ngige thanked the new NARD leadership led by Dr. Godiya Ishaya for asking their members to return to work.
Ngige explained that the issue of circular removing NYSC doctors and house officers from the scheme of service was the decision of the National Council on Establishments chaired by the Head of Service of the Federation.
On the issue of the migration of some doctors on the GFMIS platform, Ngige explained that there are things that the government cannot do immediately, but needs time to accomplish.
He said that nobody can be migrated to the IPPIS platform in less than three weeks because there are procedures to be followed including waivers and approvals of the government.
Ngige assured that all the contentious issues were being addressed, including the payment of the Medical Residency Training Fund and Special COVID-19 allowances for those omitted.
On the issue of benefits of deceased doctors, he said the government received a report that the next of kin of the deceased doctors were not seen.