FG okays engagement of retired doctors, nurses, others on contract basis


The Federal Government has given the nod for engagement of retired health workers, mostly medical doctors, nurses, and other clinical healthcare workers, on contract basis.

The government, in a circular to this effect, said salaries of the retired health personnel re-engaged would be the same amount they were collecting before their retirement.

The Ministry of Health, in a circular dated October 5, 2023, and directed to the Chief Executive Agencies, Chief Medical Directors, Medical Directors, and Heads of Regulatory Bodies and Schools, urged them to ensure compliance with an earlier circular issued by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to all staff in their institutions.

The circular, signed by the Permanent Secretary, Service Policies and Strategies Office, Olufemi Oloruntoba, for the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation read in part: “I am directed to refer to the above-mentioned memorandum presented at the 44th National Council on Establishment held from 5th to 9th December 2022, in Yola, Adamawa State, requesting a review of the current retirement age of Medical/Dental Consultants and other health professionals from 60 to 70 and 75, respectively.”

The Council’s memorandum

It read: “After careful consideration of the memorandum, the council rejected the request based on the following:

“Professionals in the health sector were leaving the country because of pecuniary consideration and unfavourable conditions of service and not as a result of retirement age;

“Some state government had already increased the retirement age of medical doctors and other health workers and this has not addressed the spate of brain drain.”

Also, it said it was dissatisfied with health workers’ attitude to work, noting that in spite of efforts by the government to encourage health workers, the exodus of health workers had not abated.

The circular further read: “Council, however, approved that clinical health workers who have attained the compulsory retirement age/years may be given contract appointment on the same salary scale level that they retired on if desired and deserved.

“Government should engage the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, and the Nigerian Medical Association to extract some level of commitment from medical doctors.

“To address the observed dissatisfaction with the attitude of health workers to work, there is a need to institutionalise an effective performance management system in the public service in order to improve the work ethics of the medical officers and consultant, and medical doctors should show more patriotism in the discharge of their duties and avoid holding the system to ransom.”

The circular titled ‘Re: Review of retirement age to 65 and 70 years for health professionals and medical/dental consultants,’ with reference number HCSF/SPSO/ODD/CND/100/S./145, was addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health.

Consequently, the Ministry of Health in its circular urged all executives of agencies, chief medical directors, medical directors, and heads of regulatory bodies and schools to ensure strict compliance with the directive from the OHCSF.

The circular, signed by the Deputy of Appointment, Promotion and Discipline, Daloba Edward, for the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, was referenced C.4007/T.2/37.

Recall that the office of the OHCSF had in a circular dated August 30, 2023, rejected the upward review of the current retirement age of Medical/Dental Consultants and other health professionals from 60 to 70 and 75, respectively.