The University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) has called for an upward review of the N5,000 hazard allowance currently paid to health workers.
Solomon Egwenu and Philip Eteng, chairman and secretary of UGONSA, respectively, disclosed the association’s request in a statement addressed to Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment.
The letter is titled “Equitable Adjustment of Health Workers’ Hazard Allowances”, was made available to NAN on Thursday.
According to the group, nurses “are the single, most exposed group to healthcare-related hazards among healthcare professionals”, and as such, deserve adequate compensation for their efforts.
“Nurses stay round-the-clock at the patients’ bedsides and thus have the highest exposure to healthcare-related hazards among the healthcare team members,” the letter reads in part.
“For the umpteenth time, we wish to re-emphasise that the current N5,000 payable to nurses, who swim in an ocean of hazards, as hazard allowance epitomises insensitivity on the side of government. The treatment shows a lack of commitment or the political will to reposition our healthcare system for efficient service delivery.
“Globally, the performances of healthcare systems are proportional to the level of welfare and motivation advanced to nurses; nursing is the cornerstone upon which care is anchored in the healthcare delivery system. Every progressive health system understands that nursing is the heartbeat of the healthcare system.
“And it thus gives premium to the welfare and well-being of nurses to keep afloat a motivated workforce for efficient service delivery. We cannot do the less than joining the league of the progressive health system at this auspicious moment.
“It is better late than never; a reviewed allowance equitably configured to reflect the level of exposure to clinical hazards such that nurses who are exposed the most are paid the most will motivate them. The motivation will oil their latitude to meeting increasing complexity of health needs of Nigerians which nurses are in the frontline to drive.”
The nurses’ request comes days after the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) embarked on a strike over salary arrears, owed allowances, and poor working conditions.
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