Imo doctors unhappy over N5, 000 COVID-19 hazard allowance


The Nigeria Medical Association, Imo State chapter has described the N5,000 monthly allowance being paid to medical workers fighting against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic as poor and needs an urgent upward review .The newly elected Chairman in the state, Chidiebere Okwara disclosed this at a news briefing at the weekend in Owerri.
He called on the state government to pay salary arrears and shortfalls owed to members who rendered special services at IMSUTH, and the lecturers in the College of Medicine, Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, from August to September 2019, and March to July 2020 respectively.
Okwara said, “NMA demands payment of special COVID-19 hazard allowance to all doctors and other health workers battling COVID-19 in the state hospital and that special allowance should be paid to those working in isolation centres in the state.
“That the state government review the current hazard allowance being paid to doctors and other health workers and consider immediate upward review as done in other states.
“The AGM observed that promotion arrears of May 2018 till date are yet to be paid to doctors in HMB and Imo Specialist Hospital and we demand immediate payment.
“NMA demands that efforts should be urgently accelerated towards restoration of full accreditation at College of Medicine, IMSU, including the urgent expansion of undergraduate training capacity and restoration of accreditation of Imo State Specialist Hospital, Umuguma, Owerri, for training of officers.”
Okwara further pointed out that the association is also demanding the immediate domestication of Medical Residency Training Act(MRTA 2017) at IMSUTH, Orlu which he said had been implemented in Federal tertiary health institutions and some state tertiary health institutions.
In the same vein, Kingsley Nwafor, the newly elected NMA State Secretary, in his remarks explained that the N5, 000 allowance was meager compared to the sacrifices health workers were rendering in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
He urged the state government to emulate the Federal Government and other states that upwardly reviewed the allowances of health workers working assiduously and putting their lives in the line to contain the pandemic.
The NMA scribe said, “there are cases of coronavirus in Imo State. We have cases at various isolation centres in Imo State. The opinion that weeds have taken over the isolation centres is not true. Let me use this opportunity to tell the Imo State government to upwardly review the N5,000 allowance being paid to health workers fighting this pandemic in Imo State.
“The Imo State government should borrow a leaf from the Federal Government and other states that have upwardly reviewed the allowances being paid to health workers fighting this pandemic.
“Health workers are making enough sacrifices at this period. We have lost some of our colleagues who were in the forefront of combating the spread of this pandemic, nationally.N5, 000 as a monthly allowance is nothing when compared to risks involved.”


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