Nurses in Asaba allege sabotage of welfare policies

Coalition faults Gombe’s budget in health sector

A cabal in the Federal Ministry of Health has been accused of allegedly stalling the welfare of nurses and midwives in the country.The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba made the claim in a communiqué yesterday.

The association’s leader, Edith Okwe, blamed the cabal for colluding with the Internal Payroll and Personal Information System of (IPPIS) in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity to deny nurses of their welfare.

She urged the Federal Government, National Assembly and other stakeholders to intervene to avoid stagnation in the health sector.The NANNM also flayed frequent industrial action, adding that unless they are stopped, the sector’s poor situation would deteriorate further.

It blamed the clique for determining what government circular to implement and how and when to implement them and who should benefit from what policy. Okwe further alleged: “The cabal have been recalcitrant in their dealings, as they disobey court orders and willfully rejected the agreements that government had reached with the association.

According to her, some Chief Medical Directors (CMD) and Medical Directors (MDS) have denied them their four years promotion arrears and also failed to pay them their teaching allowance.

The nurses also accused the cabal of making selective payment of relativity allowance, while some hospitals have refused to pay them their uniform allowance.

But an official in the health ministry, who did not want his name to be mentioned, described the allegation as untrue.“We are not aware of any cabal and we believe that the nurses’ association is organising these protests to scuttle the good plans by the Federal Government for the health sector,” the source said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) Coalition in Gombe State, Alhassan Yahaya, has described Gombe State’s budget on health as inadequate.

According to him, it was unrealistic in the face of the high maternal mortality and neo-natal morbidity rate in the rural areas.He told The Guardian that the allocation fell short of the 2001 Abuja Declaration, which stipulated that health budget must be at least 15 per cent of the total budget.

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