…Praises National Assembly for the amendment of decree 10 of 1895
By Christiana Onuoha
The leadership of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to commence implementation of the newly approved hazard allowance for medical and health workers in Nigeria.
NUAHP also called on Federal and State governments to take immediate action regarding Payment of Specialists allowance to deserving healthcare professionals.
Contained in a keynote address presented by the National President of NUAHP, Comrade Obinna C. Ogbonna, at the opening session of the Union’s National Executive Council meeting in Abuja, the Allied Health Professionals praised the National Assembly for the amendment of the University Teaching ACT CAP U15 LFN, known as Decree 10 of 1985, saying the amendment would reduce frequent industrial in the country’s health sector.
“The Union hereby appeal to Mr. President to continue his magnanimity and consider the reciprocal gesture exhibited by health workers through their Unions to maintain industrial harmony for over two years.
“This Mr. President could do by directing the relevant Federal Government authorities to immediately commence the payment of new hazard allowance with accrued arrears and give express approval to the adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) and effect its payment accordingly.
“Other demands of the Union that require Federal Government and State Governments attention and immediate action are; Payment of Specialists allowance to deserving healthcare professionals.
“Implementation of 2020 circular on consultancy pharmacist consultancy cadre. Payment of shortfall in April and May 2018 withheld salaries. Payment of promotion arrears in affected Federal Health Institutions (FHIs).
“State Governments owing health workers arrears of salaries and promotion should pay without further delay. Overhauling of public health infrastructures nationwide.”
Accordingly, the address said; “The Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals expressly commends the National Assembly, most especially the House of Representatives, for taking a bold step towards amending the University Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards etc) Act Cap U15 LFN, 2004 formerly known as Decree 10 of 1985. It was the promulgation of this Decree in 1985 that introduced dichotomy and discrimination into the health sector.
“These unfair practices have continued to make the public health sector in Nigeria incapable of providing effective, accessible, and affordable healthcare services. It is also evidently clear that the decree was responsible for the crashing of the Nigeria’s health sector from its enviable 55th position now 187th out of 191 countries of the world by the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) ranking.
“We call on the National Assembly especially, House Committee on Health Institutions under the Chairmanship of Honourable (Dr) Pascal Obi to expedite action on the report of the public hearing, its concurrent at the Senate and eventual passage for onward transmission to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for his assent.”
Furthermore, NUAHP said; “We therefore call on governments at all levels to provide adequate security for health workers in the course of carrying out their essential duties. Additionally, all welfare issues as contained in our demands should be addressed in order to curtail the alarming brain drain in the health sector.
“We strongly appeal to Mr. President to direct relevant institutions of government to take appropriate actions on these demands in public interest and for sustainable industrial harmony in the public health sector. We also call on State Governors owing healthcare workers arrears of salaries and allowances to pay without further delay.”