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Thu, Aug 10, 2023 7:20 PM

Nigeria Medical Association Opposes Implementation of New Public Service Rule

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Nigeria Medical Association Opposes Implementation of New Public Service Rule
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has strongly opposed the implementation of Rule 020909 of the new Public Service Rules (PSR), which stipulates retirement for public servants in top positions after eight years. The NMA Chairman, Dr. Benjamin Olowojebutu, expressed concerns that this policy would negatively impact the healthcare system in Nigeria, resulting in a shortage of doctors and affecting the population's access to quality healthcare. They called on the government to reconsider and adjust the policy to prevent further brain drain and protect the citizens' well-being.

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has joined Nigerian workers in expressing their opposition to the implementation of Rule 020909 of the new Public Service Rules (PSR), which mandates retirement for public servants in directorate positions and above after eight years of service. The NMA Chairman, Dr. Benjamin Olowojebutu, has urged the government to rethink and adjust this policy as a matter of urgency, highlighting the potential adverse effects it could have on the Nigerian population.

Dr. Olowojebutu emphasized the importance of an adequate doctor-to-patient ratio, citing the World Health Organisation's recommendation of one doctor for every 600 patients. However, in Nigeria, this ratio stands at an alarming one doctor for every 7,000 to 8,000 patients. With such a significant disparity, the forced retirement of young doctors who have risen to directorate positions will further strain an already burdened healthcare system.

"How can it be justifiable to force young doctors into retirement when they have assumed positions of authority and are actively contributing to the well-being of the Nigerian populace?" questioned Dr. Olowojebutu. He expressed concerns that the implementation of this policy could lead to brain drain, as talented doctors may seek opportunities abroad where their skills and expertise are valued.

The NMA Chairman appealed to the Federal Government to reconsider the policy's impact on the citizens and make necessary adjustments to avoid exacerbating an already concerning healthcare crisis. He called upon the government to prioritize the well-being of the Nigerian people and ensure their access to quality healthcare is not compromised.

Similarly, senior public servants have also voiced their opposition and called for the suspension or outright abrogation of Rule 020909. They argue that the policy goes against existing laws and could result in the sudden and mass retirement of experienced and innocent public servants.

The concerned public servants have sent messages to President Bola Tinubu, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, and House of Representatives Speaker Tajudeen Abbas, urging them to intervene and halt the implementation of the rule. They highlight the injustice and unfairness of limiting public officers to eight years in a role when they have not reached the retirement age. This rule not only deprives them of their pensionable years but also creates hardships for these dedicated individuals and their families.

The impact of the rule extends to various sectors, including universities, teaching hospitals, and regulatory bodies, where skilled professionals in healthcare face the risk of being forced out of service prematurely. The shortage of healthcare workers in Nigeria is already a significant challenge, making it crucial to retain experienced personnel who contribute to the nation's healthcare infrastructure.

Furthermore, the public servants question the motives behind the introduction of this rule and highlight the hypocrisy of its proponents. They point out that Dr. Folashade Esan, the Head of Civil Service and an advocate for the rule's enforcement, herself spent more than eight years as a director before her current appointment. They question why she is now eager to deny others job security and fulfillment.

Ultimately, the opposition from the Nigeria Medical Association and concerned public servants underscores the critical need to prioritize the nation's healthcare system and guard against policies that could perpetuate brain drain and worsen the healthcare crisis. It is essential for the government to listen to these concerns and make adjustments that ensure the well-being of Nigerian citizens.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-10 News

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