Lagos Health Service Commission Yet To Absorb Contract Doctors Into Civil Service
Fate of Lagos 190 medical doctors with the Health Service Commission is yet to be decided as they await their full absorption into the civil service structure since the expiration of their two year contract engagement.
The medical doctors were employed as contract staffby the health service commission in November/December 2012.
Already, the medical doctors are posted to all General Hospitals in Lagos, have their oracle number that enables them get monthly allowance from the state government but are denied full benefit of civil servants.
Their term of reference on the employment letter reads that they were to be placed on contract of two years, renewable yearly after which their employment will be regularised and confirmed.
However, other latter cadre of staffs employedlike nurses, lab technician have been regularised and fully absorbed into the civil service. Also, subsequent doctors employed by the health service were regular staff members and not on contract employment.
Former Governor Babatunde Fashola had on Monday January 31, 2011 signed into law a well-structured wage regime across board in the State’s public service. This also reflects the philosophy of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) for its medical doctors.
The upgraded salary structure for medical doctors in Lagos State shows that the lowest level (Level 10 House Officers) now earns N173,927.33 as against the N111,649,48; Level 12 earns N225,519.33 as against the N127,965.07; Level 13 officer earns N261,107.25 as against n142,333.36; Level 14 earns N304,235.50 as against N156,768.67; Level 17 (generalist) earns N534,594.66 as against N246,636.91 and Level 17 (highest level consultant) earns N683,671.60 as against the N353,647.33.
RuralReporters was able to confirm the 190 medical doctors earn about N200,000.00 which is proportional to what is stated in the salary structure but rarely enjoy other benefits as their colleagues.
While other civil servants are entitled to pension, the 190 medical doctors are not pensionable and none has been promoted since the date of employment by the Health Service Commission.
Actually, it takes every two years to get promotion in the civil service but the medical doctors who are now in their third year in service are yet to get promoted, a situation which is said to have made them obey orders from their previous junior colleagues that have been permanently employed by the commission.
Our correspondent gathered that the medical doctors, due to their employment status can only enjoy eight week maternity leave as against the six months signed into law by the administration of former Governor Babatunde Fashola.
One of the medical doctors who asked not to be named said the situation is currently affecting their morale at work as other workers call them contract workers and exclude them from participating in some activities like training.
“Due to the fact that we can’t be promoted, it is frustrating seeing our juniors now becoming our seniors in service. Its as if we have no future with the Health Service Commission.”
Many of the doctors, who spoke to our correspondent called for regularisation from the government.
The aggrieved medical doctors canvassed for the government to regularise their employment and place them on appropriate level based on the number of years they have spent with the Health Service Commission.
“Since all other cadres of nurses, lab technicians have been regularise, we plead with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to please regularise our employment, and address this issue as soon as possible to avert another crisis in the state health sector,” the doctors said.
When contacted, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Jemilade Longe, confirmed the state’s Health Civil Service is aware of the issue of contract staff with the state government.
Text message sent to our correspondent by Dr. Longe reads: “My response to the issue raised by you is that the matter is receiving government attention and that once concluded, the outcome would be made known.”