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Health workers blame non-payment of new risk allowance

The federal government has yet to begin implementing the increased hazard pay for health workers seven months after it was announced, the punch reports.

The federal government, in December 2021, increased risk allowances applicable to healthcare workers in its healthcare facilities across the country.

The increase was contained in a circular bearing the reference SWC/S/04/S.218/11/406, dated December 22, 2021, from the president of the National Commission for Wages, Incomes and Wages.

It read in part: “Regarding the revision of the risk allowance applicable to health workers in the services of Federal Hospitals, Medical Centers and Clinics of Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

“Hazard pay was revised to a flat rate ranging from N5,000 to between N15,000 and N34,000 for health workers on the CONHESS salary structure, while CONMESS doctors saw theirs pass from 5,000 N to between 32,000 N and N40,000.

However, health workers in the country have confirmed to our correspondent that the revised risk allocation has not been implemented.

A hazard allowance is additional compensation for workers who perform extremely dangerous or physically uncomfortable work.

The Publicity and Social Affairs Secretary of the National Association of Resident Doctors, Dr Alfa Yusuf, said: ‘Hazard pay has been promised since last year and nothing has been said about it. . We have lost many of our members to various dangers, and the government is not doing anything about it.

“Our demands are long overdue, and in two weeks we will review the progress made so far and take a final position; and we cannot guarantee industrial harmony.

Further, the national chairman of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals, Dr Obinna Ogbonna said, “We thought we were going to get the new stipend when we got paid in July, but we didn’t. been paid,” Ogbonna said.

Meanwhile, a former president of the Nigerian Medical Association, Prof. Mike Ogirima, has urged the government to implement the increased risk allowance as promised.

“It is regrettable that the federal government has not kept its promise months after the publication of the circular. I hope that the government will do the necessary and implement the agreement reached.

Also reacting, a professor of medicine at the University of Ilorin, Emmanuel Okoro, chastised the federal government for failing to live up to expectations saying, “The government alone, said the N5,000 risk allowance was poor and overhauled it and haven’t paid since last year Then they said they would wait for the budget The budget came and they said they would wait to start putting implemented in March July passed, but nothing happened.

“The resident doctors have given the government two weeks to respond to their requests, and I hope they will meet with them to avoid any disruption to health services.”

Efforts to reach Health Minister Osagie Ehanire proved fruitless as his number was unreachable and he had yet to respond to a text message sent to him at the time of this report.

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