FG approves incentives for health workers

The Federal Government has approved jumbo hazard allowances for health workers across board, with special consideration for those managing Covid-19 cases.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on April 21 between representatives of the Federal Government under the auspices of the Ministry of Labour and Employment and associations of health professionals on special incentives on Covid-19 for health workers in federal government health system, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olurunnimbe Mamora announced today.

Officials considered the proposal presented by the health unions to review incentive package for health workers and the implication of COVlD-19 on healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

According to the agreement, the existing hazard allowance of -N-5,000 being paid to health workers since 1991 will be replaced by a special COVlD-19 hazard and inducement allowance. It has 50 percent of the consolidated basic salary in all Federal Teaching Hospitals, Federal Medical Centres and designated COVlD-19 Centres and Primary Health Care centres, commencing from the first three months.

Similarly, 40 percent of Consolidated Basic Salary would be paid to health care workers at special non-public hospitals and clinics in the federal ministries, departments and agencies for same period.

The agreement also specified the payment of 20 percent of the CBS as special risk allowance additionally on the Special Covid-19 to all health workers directly managing the pandemic at the infectious diseases hospitals, isolation and treatment centres and 10 percent to non-core medical professionals working in health sector and those operating at aforementioned hospitals and clinics.

The health professionals who noted that the Federal Government has paid and activated the Group Life Insurance for all categories of workers in the public service with 13 Insurance companies on the Group Life Insurance and Employee Compensation urged the government to make full payment to last for one year.

The meeting also appealed to government to fully reactivate the Insurance Policy for Employees under the Employees Compensation Act to cover infirmities, critical illnesses, disability and death in the course of managing COVID-19 cases.

In addition, the Presidential Task Force on COVlD-19 is requested to provide additional insurance cover for health workers at the frontline while urging that all Life Insurance donations be assigned to the volunteers and health workers from the National Youth Service Corps.

Similarly, government settled to a tax waiver on the Special COVlD-19 hazard allowance, and pledged to consider same for call duty, specialist and shift duty allowances for three months and promised to scale up the provision of Personal Protective Equipment through the PTF and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to all health workers in the Federal tertiary Health Institutions and extend same support to state governments in order to protect their health workers.

Minister of State for Health and Ag. Chairman, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission represented the Federal Government while the leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association, Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives and Joint Health Sector Unions represented all the health associations.

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