The Federal Government has been requested by the National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP) to raise the retirement age for physicians to 70 years old so that they can impart more knowledge to the next generation of physicians.
The request was made by the body of doctors on Monday in a communique that was released following its National Executive Council meeting in Abuja.
The NAGGMDP observed that the expansion of the retirement age of medical professionals was to allow them to impart more expertise to forthcoming doctors and encouraged the Federal Government to prioritize the health sector.
It added, “The NEC resolved that the Government should immediately begin to consider the review of the retirement age of doctors to 70 years to retain experienced hands and also to cover for the acute shortage of doctors being witnessed currently.
“The NEC also resolved that the Government especially State Governors and Local Government authorities should as a matter of urgency, commence recruitment of doctors and make all necessary effort to employ doctors to fill the spaces opened up by the brain drain/emigration of doctors and other health care workers. This is very necessary because the State and Local Govt healthcare systems are most hit and this sector caters for the bulk of the population in the country.”
In order to stop brain drain, the statement emphasized the importance of the Federal Government and key parties giving the health sector high priority.
It reads, “The NEC resolved that the Federal and State Government should provide affordable healthcare for Nigerians while making special considerations for children, the vulnerable and the aged, through a well funded National health insurance scheme which would reduce out of pocket payments.
“The NEC called on the relevant organs of Government to see urgent needs to increase the budgetary allocation to healthcare to be in line with WHO proposals/standards.”
The doctors voiced their unhappiness over the rising security issues the nation is facing, particularly those that target medical professionals, including doctors.
NAGGMDP said that in order to draw and keep doctors in their jobs, the government must create an inviting workplace atmosphere and favorable working circumstances.
“The NEC charged the Government to prioritize the security of lives and property of Nigerians across the country,” the communique added.
The association was pleased that some governors had not started implementing the recently approved hazard allowance for physicians and other healthcare professionals in their states, according to the statement.
As a result, NAGGMDP asked State Governments, especially those in Abia, Ondo, and Ekiti States and others with cases of unfinished salary payments and non-implementation of promotion for doctors, to give the wages of doctors in their States the highest priority possible.