The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, has described as pittance the N5,000 monthly stipend given to them as hazard allowance.
Speaking at a media briefing as part of activities to celebrate the 2020 Physicians’ Week in Kano on Monday, the Kano State chapter Chairman of the association, Usman Ali, said the monthly allowance is “too small”.
According to him, in view of the risks attached to health profession in Nigeria, especially with the spread of COVID-19, it is uncalled for to give a medical doctor N5,000 as hazard allowance monthly.
Mr Ali lamented that from new intake up to the level of professor in medicine, the amount of the allowance remain the same, calling on the Federal and State Governments to implement the upward review of what he described as “abysmally poor hazard allowance”.
“The government should as a matter of urgency implement an upward review of the current abysmally poor hazard allowance paid to doctors and other healthcare workers.
“The doctors have been overworked, yet they are neither motivated, nor encouraged. This is because the doctor-patient ratio is on the increased side.
“For instance, during COVID-19 outbreak in Kano, we lost two doctors in the line of duty.
“If you look at this allowance, it is too poor for our doctors to use and even proved Personal Protective Equipment for themselves.
“We therefore call on the government to increase this allowance,” he appealed.
The Chairman observed that the COVID-19 had exposed the inadequacies of health systems around the world, noting that Nigeria was not spared from the challenges posed by the outbreak of the virus.
He, therefore, called on the Nigerian government to provide accessible and affordable healthcare for the citizens, advising that the National Health Insurance Scheme should be accessible to all Nigerians.
“For the government to provide accessible and affordable healthcare for its people, it is recommend that the National Health Insurance Scheme should be made accessible for all Nigerians, establishment of health bank and intensification of public private policy,” Mr Ali advised.