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Kaduna doctors allege 25% deduction from April salaries, beg El-Rufai for refund

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The Nigerian Medical Association, Kaduna State chapter, has expressed shock with the decision of the state government to remove 25% of salaries of Doctors and other healthcare workers in the employment of the state government.

The association described the action of the state government as a rude shock and indeed an aberration at a time when governments world over have been motivating healthcare professionals by providing incentives during the period of COVID-19 pandemic.

A press statement signed by Dr. Stephen Akau Kache and Dr Ifeanyi Aghadi Kene, state Chairman and Secretary respectively, said,that the NMA was ”disappointment at the recent unilateral decision of the State government to remove 25% of salaries of Doctors and other healthcare workers in the employment of the State government.

“This came to us as a rude shock and indeed an aberration at a time when governments world over as well as the Federal Government have been motivating healthcare professionals by providing incentives.”

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The association observed with great concern that the decision was taken unilaterally by the state government without recourse to the Nigerian Medical Association as the umbrella body of all doctors who are in the frontline in the state.

The statement wandered, “Recall that the quarantine order imposed on the state exempted healthcare workers as well as other essential services and hence Doctors and other healthcare workers have had to continue offering services to both COVID-19 and non COVID-19 patients within the state, implying that we have had to be going to work, even running extra schedules whereas the availability and cost of transportation has been challenging to say the least.

“We also Note that since the onset of this pandemic over 40 healthcare workers across the country have been infected with the virus in the course of their duty and many more in constant danger of being infected. These among others can demoralize the rest of the workforce and clearly buttresses the need for a rather commensurate salary/ hazard allowance as well as incentives.

“As it currently stands Doctors in Kaduna state are the poorest paid in the country and only recently embarked on a strike action to press home their demand for improvement of their salaries which was eventually suspended out of a passionate and patriotic desire to join forces with government and the citizens to control the Covid 19 pandemic.

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The NMA further called on the state government to as a matter of urgency pay all health care workers the balance of 25% of their April 2020 Salaries.

Enhance the hazard allowance of health care workers by domesticating the memorandum of understanding entered into by the Federal Government with the unions in the health sector.

Implement a tax rebate for health care workers in the state and provide Life Insurance and other social benefits for health care workers in the state

The statement also enjoined the state government to ensure continuous supply of PPEs and other equipment needed by HCW as well as ensure regular training and retraining of HCW in partnership with NCDC and WHO.

“We believe that these will go a long way to salvage what is left of the morale of health care workers in the state and prevent an imminent collapse of the healthcare system at such an auspicious time. It is moral and Just for the State Government to correct this anomaly,” the statement emphasized.

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