Saturday, 29 August 2015

PSN chides CMDs over payment of doctors’ skipping dues

• Urges EFCC, ICPC to probe finances of 55 FHIs

Pharmacists under the umbrella of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has alleged that some Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) have been paying the skipping dues of doctors through internally generated revenues of institutions under them, a development which they have condemned, saying it amounts to illegality, as such funds were never allocated by the National Assembly.

The association has therefore urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to audit the finances of all the 55 federal health institutions (FHIs) to fish out and sanction all liable CMDs.

A statement on Monday, signed by Olumide Akintayo, President, PSN, which also condemned moves to pressure the Federal Government to factor payments accruing from the skipping of salary scale to doctors in the Federal Health Institutions in the 2016 budget called for the probe of the finances of all the 55 federal health institutions to identify and sanction all CMDs found guilty.

The statement said: “For the records the umbrella body of some cadres even cites references of situations where some Chief Medical Directors have been quoted to be paying the skipping dues of doctors through internally generated revenues of such institutions, a development which amounts to illegality as such funds were never appropriated by the National Assembly in the first instance. We therefore take a position that the EFCC and ICPC must audit the finances of all the 55 federal health institutions to identify and as a prelude to sanctioning all culpable Chief Medical Directors.”

PSN alleged that the recent demand for inclusion of the backlog of skipping of salary scale to doctors in the Federal Health Institutions in the 2016 budget was faulty and selfishly motivated to favour only five per cent of health workers force, the doctors.

Left to Right: Olumide Akintayo, President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi,President, Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy, Prof. Rahman Bello, Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Pharm. Bruno Nwankwo, Chairman, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria at the official opening ceremony of the Pharmacy Education Summit held recently, at the Conference Centre, University of Lagos, Akoka,Lagos
According to the association, the request which they claimed was contained in a communiqué read by one of the 55 CMDs of the federal health institutions had no consideration for the welfare of other health workers apart from doctors.

PSN said: “The attention of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria has been drawn to a recent communiqué advocating that the Federal Government should factor payments accruing from the skipping of salary scale to doctors in the Federal Health Institutions in the 2016 budget. This communiqué read by one of the 55 chief medical directors of the federal health institutions as usual had no consideration for the welfare of other health workers apart from doctors.”

The statement which further blamed the development which it described as ‘unfortunate’ on appointment of doctors as CEOs of federal health institution, quickly noted that the same CEOs frustrated plans for payment of some cadre of health workers who have were granted the concession to skip CONHESS 10 by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, in 2010.

It also decried the situation where some of the federal health institutions who have not paid allowances that have been due since 2010 are now bothered about payments which have only recently been approved through circulars in the last six months.

“After our usual evaluation we wish to posit thus: Our position that the appointment of doctors as CEOs of federal health institution is one of the major precursors of avoidable stress junctions is confirmed by this unfortunate development. As far back as 2010, some cadre of health workers have been granted the concession to skip CONHESS 10 by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, yet these same CEOs have frustrated the plans to pay these entitlements except in a few notable cases. It is embarrassing that while some of the federal health institutions have not paid allowances that have been due since 2010, they are bothered about payments which have only recently been approved through circulars in the last six months,” the statement said.

The PSN President further condemned Chief Medical Directors who have been alleged to be paying the skipping dues of doctors through internally generated revenues of such institutions, insisting that it is illegal as such funds were not approved by the National Assembly. Consequently, he called for their probe by EFCC and ICPC.

The PSN boss further urged both federal and state governments to find ways of dealing with unlawful strikes by Nigerian doctors, insisting that the Nigerian Medical Association and all its appendages are not trade unions and not entitled to enjoy the privileges of bargaining for privileges for their members not to talk of engaging in industrial disputes.”

“The federal and state governments must continue to appraise methodologies it employs in dealing with unlawful strikes by Nigerian doctors. The Nigerian Medical Association and all its appendages are not trade unions and therefore cannot and should not enjoy the privileges of bargaining for privileges for their members not to talk of engaging in industrial disputes”, Akintayo said.

According to him, the situation is worsening as resident doctors who are postgraduate medical students on training have are taking advantage of the situation and also embark on strikes.

“It is certainly worse when even resident doctors who are postgraduate medical students have the effrontery to go on strike because they are ideally under training,” he said, blaming the ugly development on governments’ leniency with the doctors.

“The apparent benevolence government often times has employed in dealing with this menace remains the incentive members of an otherwise noble profession have exploited ad infinitum,” he said.

The PSN President however warned that if government does nothing to arrest the incessant strikes by medical which he said was unnecessary, 95 per cent of health workers under the auspices of Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professionals (AHPA) would in turn embark on perennial strike.

“In Buhari’s Nigeria, a need arises for the federal and state governments to nip in the bud the unlawful strike regimen of doctors. If this is not ensured through proactive measures immediately, the government leaves the otherwise lawful and well behaved members of JOHESU/AHPA who constitute 95 per cent of the health workforce in Nigeria to embrace the avoidable vicious cycle of strikes to pursue the liberties of its members which continues to be trampled upon,” he cautioned.


This story was published in Newswatch Times on August 26, 2015.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive