Japa syndrome: FG Okays Contract Jobs for Retired Doctors
The Federal Government has granted approval for doctors, nurses, and other clinical healthcare professionals to be appointed as contract staff upon reaching their mandatory retirement age or year of service.
In a circular dated October 5, 2023, issued by the Federal Ministry of Health, chief executive of agencies, chief medical directors, medical directors, and heads of regulatory bodies and schools were instructed to adhere to the circular previously issued by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
According to this directive, the appointed contract staff would be placed on the same salary scale level they held at the time of retirement if they choose and are eligible for it.
FG sets 2-week timeline for issuance of passport by Immigration.
The office of the OHCSF, in a circular dated August 30, 2023, rejected the upward review of the current retirement age of medical and 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 December 5th–9th, 2022, in Yola, Adamawa State, requesting a review of the current retirement age of medical and 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 unfavourable conditions of service and not as a result of retirement age.
“Some state governments have 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 or years may be given contract appointments on the same salary scale level that they retired on if desired and deserved.
“The 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 institutionalise an effective performance management system in the public service in order to improve the work ethics of the medical officers and consultants, and medical doctors should show more patriotism in the discharge of their duties and avoid holding the system to ransom,” it added.
Consequently, the FMoH, in its circular, urged all executives of agencies, chief medical directors, medical directors, and heads of regulatory bodies and schools to ensure strict compliance with the directive from the OHCSF.
The circular signed by the Deputy of Appointment, Promotion, and Discipline, Daloba Paul Edward, for the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, was referenced in C.4007/T.2/37.