FG approves contract positions for retired health professionals

    After reaching their mandatory retirement age or years, doctors, nurses, and other clinical healthcare professionals may be hired as contract employees with the approval of the federal government.

    However, the government stated that if desired and merited, contract employees would receive the same pay scale level as retirees.

    The Federal Ministry of Health issued a circular, which our correspondent was able to obtain, on October 5, 2023, instructing the Chief Executive Agencies, Chief Medical Directors, Medical Directors, and Heads of Regulatory Bodies and Schools to ensure adherence to the circular that had previously been distributed to all employees in their institutions by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

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    In a circular dated August 30, 2023, the office of the OHCSF had rejected the proposal to raise the retirement ages for medical/dental consultants and other healthcare professionals from 60 to 70 and 75, respectively.

    The FMoH Permanent Secretary was the recipient of the circular with the subject line “Re: Review of retirement age to 65 and 70 years for health professionals and medical/dental consultants” and reference number HCSF/SPSO/ODD/CND/100/S./145.

    “I am directed to refer to the above-mentioned memorandum presented at the 44th National Council on Establishment held from December 5–9, 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,” said the circular signed by Olufemi Oloruntoba, Permanent Secretary, Service Policies and Strategies Office, for the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

    “After carefully reviewing the memo, the council denied the request on the grounds that professionals in the health field were relocating abroad due to financial considerations and unfavorable working circumstances, not because they had reached retirement age.

    The epidemic of brain drain has not been addressed by several state governments who have previously raised the retirement age for physicians and other health professionals.

    In addition, it expressed dissatisfaction with the way in which health employees approached their jobs and noted that, despite government initiatives to support them, the outflow of health workers had not stopped.

    health wokers

    “However, Council authorized that clinical health personnel who have reached the mandatory retirement age or years may be given contract appointments on the same salary scale level as they retired on if requested and entitled to do so.

    “To get some level of commitment from doctors, the government should work with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and the Nigerian Medical Association.

    “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 continued. “To address the observed dissatisfaction with the attitude of health workers toward work, it is important to improve the work ethics of the medical officers and consultant.”

    As a result, the FMoH advised all agency leaders, chief medical directors, medical directors, and heads of regulatory bodies and schools in its circular to guarantee that the OHCSF’s mandate was strictly followed.

    The C.4007/T.2/37 circular was signed by Daloba Paul Edward, Deputy of Appointment, Promotion, and Discipline, on behalf of Prof. Ali Pate, Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare.

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