“It takes a lot of funds to train a medical doctor, nurse or even a laboratory technologist or physiotherapist. So, we want to retain them here
The federal government has proposed 65 years as retirement age for doctors, health workers and 70 years for consultants in the country.
The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, disclosed this at a meeting between the Presidential Committee on Salaries, relevant stakeholders, health sector professional associations and trade unions on Tuesday in Abuja.
The meeting discussed hazard allowance and retirement age for health sector workers in government health establishments.
Mr Ngige, while addressing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, said the proposal had become necessary to improve the conditions of service of Nigerian health workers to retain their services within the country.
“We have taken their proposal. The government side will firm up its own proposal, and we are reconvening June 1 so that we can have an agreed hazard allowance for health workers in Nigeria.
“We also discussed the issue of retirement age for health workers, being that we want to keep our health workers here in Nigeria.
“A lot of people are coming here to poach and take away people we have trained at very great cost. It takes a lot of funds to train a medical doctor, nurse, or even a laboratory technologist or physiotherapist. So, we want to retain them here,” he said.
Mr Ngige explained that the government could retain the health professionals for a longer time by making their retirement age for health workers and doctors 65 and 70 years for consultants.
The President of Nigeria Medical Association, Emmanuel Ujah, and his counterpart of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), Josiah Biobelemoye, expressed optimism on reaching an agreement with the federal government.
Others at the meeting were the health minister, Osagie Enahire, Director General of Budget Office, Ben Akubueze, health ministry’s permanent secretary, Abdulaziz Mashi, and his labour ministry counterpart, Peter Tarfa.