• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Abia: Health workers demand payment of backlog of salary arrears, allowances

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The National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioner (NAGGMDP), Abia State chapter, has appealed to the state government to offset their 13 months’ outstanding salary arrears.

The group in a letter to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, which was signed by Obinna Okeugo, chairman, NAGGMDP and Iroabuchi Egeruo, secretary, NAGGMDP and made available to BusinessDay, explained that the body comprising doctors under the state’s Hospital Management Board (HMB) and other health workers were passing through precarious ordeals.

They explained that doctors and other health workers were being owed salary arrears from January 2019 to December 2019 and an additional one month in 2020, totaling 13 months.

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The group in the letter stated that the former governor, Theodore Orji, signed the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for doctors and other health workers into law in 2011, but only 70 percent of this salary structure was implemented.

“It may also interest you to know that some states and all federal health institutions are currently enjoying enhanced CONMESS and CONHESS salary structure, which is a higher salary structure, as stipulated, by the health law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, while we in HMB are still battling with 70 percent CONMESS and CONHESS, which is not even paid to all staff.

They argued that they have been completely isolated in the area of remuneration for doctors and other health workers and pleaded with government to treat Abia health workers like their colleagues in other states.

According to them, “we feel ashamed and relegated when our colleagues from other states disclose their remuneration”.

They also noted that a new hazard allowance that had been passed into law was yet to be implemented in the salary schedule of Abia HMB staff and appealed to the governor to ensure its implementation.

“As our contemporaries in other states and health institutions have started receiving their skipping arrears since 2019, we should not be left out as we are exposed to same working conditions and health laws of the nation.