The federal government has proposed 65 as the new retirement age for health workers in the country.
Presently, the retirement age for doctors in the country is 60.
Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige who spoke at a meeting between the presidential committee on salaries (PSC), relevant federal government stakeholders, health sector professional associations, and trade unions on Tuesday May 11, said the federal government is proposing to increase the retirement age for doctors from 60 to 65, and 70 for health workers and consultants in the country.
According to the Minister, the proposal is aimed at improving 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.
“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.”