…Pays billions of Naira for call duty allowance
Nigeria’s President, Mr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan has finally bowed to pressure by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) to create an Office of the Surgeon General for the country, reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
According to NAN, a meeting was held by Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta, Ministers of Health and Labour, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, and Chukwuemeka Wogu.
The meeting held at the presidential Villa was also attended by the Director-General of Budget Office, Dr Bright Okogu; and the Chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Chief Richard Egbule. Other demand reportedly met by the President is to pay call duty allowances to physicians running into billions of Naira.
The Surgeon General office when created will be responsible for public health
The source said that following the demand of the association, the appointee would be responsible for public health. “The government has taken a decision to appoint a Surgeon-General of the Federation who will be a medical doctor and will be responsible for public health. That appointment will be announced soon,’’ the source said.
The source said Jonathan had directed the Ministry of Health to collaborate with Ministries of Finance, Trade and Investment in consulting with medical practitioners to supporting private investors to build state-of-the-art hospitals in the country.
The decisions, the source explained, were aimed at promoting local potential, improving fiscal policy on medical equipment and checking the growth of medical tourism.
The source said Jonathan also directed that before any government official would be allowed to travel abroad for medicals, government must first be satisfied that no such medical services exist in country.
According to the source, the president has also agreed to reform the National Health Insurance Scheme to make it more productive.
The source said the president had also consented to the demand of NMA to make its representation to the Nigeria Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.
We also gathered that following the strike threat by NMA which is to begin on January 6th, Governor Uduaghan, a medical doctor had been contacted by the NMA leadership to intervene.