Wednesday, 29 April 2020

COVID-19 HAZARD ALLOWANCE: NURSES CALL FOR EQUITY





Nurses under the auspices of University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) has hailed the sacrifices of Nigerians who have endured excruciating lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 and the frontline health workers who have put their life on the line to tame the ravenous scourge of the virus. They however called for equity in the handling of anything concerning the frontline health workers’ hazard allowance whether COVID-19 related or not.

In a statement jointly issued by its National President, Chief (Hon) S.E.O. Egwuenu,  and Ag.National Secretary, Nurse P.O. Eteng,  the association emphasized that long before COVID-19 berthed in Nigeria, it has been demanding for an upward review of health workers’ hazard allowance and have severally characterized as a systemic injustice the fact that frontline health workers that swim in an ocean of hazards are paid N5,000 as hazard allowance across board whereas university lecturers that stay in classrooms which are far less hazardous than hospitals receive a hazard allowance that is 500% higher than what the healthcare workers receive.

“Our call for the upward review of the hazard allowance has been for an equitable review. But it is very unfortunate that equity has been set aside now that COVID-19 has forced the Federal Government (FG) to respond to the critical issue of unfair hazard allowance payable to health workers.

“A review of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the leaders of the health sector inter-professional associations (Nigeria Medical Association [NMA], Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria [PSN], National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives [NANNM] and the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) with the FG, in what was termed ‘a special COVID-19 hazard and inducement allowance’ shows that it was marred with inequity and favouritism.

“By declaring that the N5,000 hazard allowance will be replaced by 50% of the consolidated basic salary of the COVID-19 frontline healthcare workers, the MOU insidiously favoured medical doctors more than other healthcare workers especially the nurses who are the cornerstone of care in the hospitals that stay round-the-clock in the patients’ bedside and have the highest exposure to healthcare-related hazards.

“As at date, Nurses are the most marginalized and the least paid among the core healthcare professionals such that a House Officer who is a medical intern that just left school and yet to do NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) earns more than a Principal Nursing Officer who has spent more than 12 years in the Civil Service post-NYSC.  

“When the very fat consolidated salary structure for the doctors is indexed with the paltry sum given to nurses as their consolidated salary it becomes very clear that doctors have been insidiously favoured while the nurses who are the most exposed to healthcare-related hazards among the health workers have again been shortaged in the schemes of things.

“Equity demands that those that are more exposed to hazards should receive a higher hazard allowance.

“With that, if 50% of the doctors’ fat consolidated basic salary is paid to them as hazard allowance, 100% of the nurses’ meagre consolidated basic salary should be paid to nurses as hazard allowance since their consolidated salary is a minute fraction of the consolidated salaries paid to doctors and at the same time they are more exposed to healthcare-related hazards than other members of the healthcare team.

“That both the Minister of Health and the Minister of Labour & Employment who represented the FG were all medical doctors should not have been an avenue for lacing the MOU in inequity and professional favouritism.

The association called on the FG to review the MOU and make the special COVID-19 hazard allowance for nurses 100% of their consolidated basic salary and appealed to nurses to continue to be resolute in discharging their duties donning appropriate PPEs despite the provocative development.

“We hereby call on the FG to review the MOU and make the hazard allowance of nurses a 100% of their consolidated basic salary to reflect their close range and round-the-clock exposure to healthcare related hazards. We further admonish that at a critical time like this, what is needed to defeat the virus is equity and unity and not favouritism anchored on professional chauvinism.

We call on nurses to continue to be resolute in selflessly delivering frontline qualitative care to Nigerians despite the deliberate provocations by the government and appeal to government to scale-up provision of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) for the frontline health workers. We once again wish to remind nurses not to do away with our earlier warning of ‘no PPE no work’ – the statement concluded.

18 comments:

  1. Kudos. May God protect us all

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  2. Nothing but the truth,Nurses derserve as demanded by them.

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  3. Nothing but the truth,Nurses derserve as demanded by them.

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  4. Kudos to UGONSA.U r really the hope of nursing in Nigeria.God bless us all.

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  5. Well done UGONSA. I wonder what delayed NANNM in seeing the obvious and speaking out!!!!!

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    1. NANNM is a disgrace to the Nursing profession sorry for saying that but it's the truth,kudos to UGONSA and it's high time we all come together to face the reality.

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  6. Thanks for your good job. All we are requesting for is equity and nothing more. We pray God will continue to protect all the front line health workers in Jesus Christ name amen.

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  7. Nice write up, Nurses are so marginalise, is time to wakeup.
    Follow up on this has to be carried
    out.

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  8. Well done. Wonderful write up, GOD help us to scale through

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  9. UGONSA well done my people!!!

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  10. favouritism anchored on professional chauvinism should never be encouraged.
    Good work UGONSA.

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  11. I duff my cap, well done UGONSA. The true must be established. Enough of the peanut for hazard while being seriously exposed to all kinds of things.

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