Doctors in Plateau State have called on well meaning elders and stakeholders in the State to intervene in the current challenges being experienced by Medical Doctors working in State owned health institutions.
The call was made by the Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Plateau State, Doctor Bapigaan William Audu while addressing Journalists at a Press Briefing held at the NMA Conference Hall in Jos, in commemoration of the 2022 Physicans’ Week. Flanked by other EXCO members, Dr Bapigaan lamented the poor working conditions of Doctors in Plateau State as well as the fact that Doctors in State owned health institutions are being owed three months salaries.
He added that though there have been talks with Government over the matter, they are still expectant that the right thing will be done. He further rew the attention of Government to the fact that Doctors working with the state Government are enjoying only a fraction of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, adding that Doctors have been taking 80% of the salary structure since 2016; stressing the need for a review particularly considering the alarming rate of brain drain being experienced in Nigeria.
He noted that though the attempt by the State Government to employ about 700 health workers is welcome, the working conditions of the current health workforce needs to be improved upon as efforts are put into employing more hands. He stressed that the Health Sector needs to improve side by side with other critical sectors, adding that while roads, security and other infrastructure are being worked on, it was important for the health sector as a critical sector be given the due consideration and attention it deserves.
He noted that the Federal Government had begun the implementation of the Revised Hazard Allowances for medical and dental practicioners, he encouraged the State Government to also domesticate same and begin implementation. Dr Bapigaan also used the opportunity to draw the attention of the Governing Council of the Plateau State University Bokkos to the recent advertorial issued by the institution for vacant position of the Vice Chancellor wherein Professors of Medicine& Dentistry were deliberately excluded by the inclusion of P. hD criteria as a precondition for prospective applicants. He noted that Medicine is beyond the academia but extends into other critical parts like research and community practice. He stressed that government policies should not be made in such a way that a particular group is left out or targeted. He hailed the government for introducing Medicine and Surgery as a Course of study at the University, with the Teaching Hospital under construction but wondered why medical doctors without P. hDs are being excluded in being prospective Vice Chancellor of the citadel of learning, despite the fact that NMA has written to the institution on the matter.