The federal government has proposed 65 as the retirement age for doctors, health workers and 70 for consultants in the country.

Presently, the retirement age for doctors in the country is 60.

 

Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, spoke on Tuesday at a meeting between the presidential committee on salaries (PSC), relevant federal government stakeholders, health sector professional associations, and trade unions.

 

The meeting was called to discuss the issue of hazard allowance and retirement age for health sector workers in government establishments.

Ngige said the proposal had become necessary to improve the conditions of service of Nigerian health workers.

 

“We have taken their proposal. The government side will firm up its own proposal and we are reconvening June 1, so that we can have an agreed hazard allowance for health workers in Nigeria,” Ngige said.

 

“We also discussed the issue of retirement age for health workers, being that we want to keep our health workers here in Nigeria.

“A lot of people are coming here to poach and take away people we have trained at very great cost.

 

“It takes a lot of funds to train a medical doctor, nurse or even a laboratory technologist or physiotherapist. So, we want to retain them here.

 

“We are making progress. The health workers are happy and we, in the government side are happy also. We need them to keep our health system alive.

 

“Nobody in government is opposed to the proposal. It is a proposal that is realistic. It is a proposal that we all agreed to last year when COVID-19 erupted.

 

“Remember that we were even calling back people who are retired. We delayed retirement age by six months for health workers so that we can fight COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“The pandemic is not yet over. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. We are not praying for any other pandemic but we have to be battle ready at all times, health-wise.”