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FG Approves Contract Appointments for Retired Doctors

Healthcare professionals to be appointed as contract staff after reaching retirement age.

In a recent development, the Federal Government has granted approval for doctors, nurses, and other clinical healthcare professionals to be appointed as contract staff even after reaching their compulsory retirement age or years of service.

Notably, these contract staff will have the option to remain on the same salary scale level as when they retired, provided they meet the criteria.

This decision was outlined in a circular dated October 5, 2023, issued by the Federal Ministry of Health. The circular instructs Chief Executive Agencies, Chief Medical Directors, Medical Directors, and Heads of Regulatory Bodies and Schools to ensure strict compliance with a previous circular from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, which addresses this matter.

It's essential to highlight that a prior circular from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, dated August 30, 2023, had rejected proposals to increase the retirement age for Medical/Dental Consultants and other health professionals from 60 to 70 and 75, respectively.

The rejection was based on the observation that professionals in the health sector were leaving the country due to financial considerations and unfavorable working conditions rather than retirement age.

Some states had already extended the retirement age for medical doctors and healthcare workers, but this did not deter the brain drain issue.

The circular recommended that clinical health workers who have reached the compulsory retirement age/years could be offered contract appointments at the same salary scale level they retired on, provided they meet the requirements.

Additionally, it called for engagement with relevant medical associations to secure commitments from medical doctors and highlighted the need for an effective performance management system to improve work ethics among healthcare professionals.

In response to these directives, the Federal Ministry of Health has urged all relevant authorities and institutions to ensure strict adherence to these guidelines.

This decision is expected to have a significant impact on the healthcare sector, potentially addressing the issue of brain drain while providing experienced healthcare professionals with opportunities to continue contributing to the sector.



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