Nigerian doctors reject harmonised pay with nurses, other health workers

A Hospital ward used to illustrate the story
A Hospital ward used to illustrate the story

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has called on the Federal Government to shelve its planned harmonisation of salaries of health workers in the country.

The association’s position is contained in a communiqué issued by Mike Ogirima, President of NMA, on Sunday at the end of the 57th Annual General Meeting and Delegate Conference of the association, held in Calabar, from April 24 to 29.

It noted that although health workers faced many hazards in the discharge of their duties, their output could not be compared to doctors who performed the bulk of the medical services.

“There is an attempt to harmonise the salaries and the Federal Ministry of Health is at the lead of that attempt, which is currently causing a lot of disharmony in the health sector.

“Medical doctors are highly skilled and few in the country; the cut-off mark for medical students now is 280 and above. Everybody wants to accept that title of doctor in the medical set up; we are not against that.

“What we are against is the fact that everybody cannot be equated to be equal. In the animal kingdom, all animals are equal; but some are more equal than others,” it said.

The association said that it was not against moves to enhance the welfare of other health workers, but insisted that relativity should be maintained.

“We are not saying that the welfare of other medical workers should not be taken care of, but that relativity should be maintained when we talk of salaries of health workers in the hospitals.

“The NMA is calling on government to evaluate different professionals in the health sector and audit the output they put at work.

“With that, there will be more objective data and statistics to buttress our point, asking for maintenance of the relativity,” it added.

The communiqué also lamented the deteriorating state of infrastructures in public health institutions across the country and called on governments at all levels, to place premium on developing the sector.

It called on the federal government to be proactive by having a strong rapid emergency response team to handle outbreak of diseases, just as it stressed the need to resume local production of vaccines in the country.

On the outbreak of Cerebral Spinal Meningitis across the country, the NMA condemned the poor handling of the outbreak of the disease in some states.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NMA also ratified the adoption of the association’s seal/stamp for medical practitioners to check quackery in the profession.



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  • amazing2012

    These doctors need clinical review. What is your problem with salaries of others, if your will be taking are properly? Are you competing with others ?
    Please talk about your welfare and leave others to demand for their potion. Salary package is not measured by certificates, professionalism or position but also by service skills, length of service, and division of responsibility.

    • laki

      You got it all wrong. Professionalism plays a role in payment and salaries. Then come the length of service which affect your increment within each profession. Outside the country, doctors are paid seperately from other profession. Now come to the issue of avaliability, If they are not available that is an issue that is left for the hospital and its management to sort out

      • amazing2012

        Harmonization is not equalization, why the panic ? Why the competition ? There is no one that will equalize the profession of Doctor with other jobs. They are professionally different. However instead of doctors to fight for their right in the harmonization process, they are busy fighting other people right. In harmonization issues like accommodation, transportation, feeding, and medical allowances can be equal but others may be different. Are you saying Doctors food subsidy, accommodation, medical, Hazard, transportation etc MUST be different with others ? Basic salary and other remuneration can be different and higher than others.
        Please Fight for your right please !

        • Smart

          Bam! You sealed and stamped it up man.

        • Osim Edim

          if ur argument is about fighting for ur right y nt just seek an increase rather than fighting for harmonization wit reference to the drs’ pay

          • xabnuq

            And in your own dictionary..harmonization=equalization?…Can’t you be objective ones? guys are just claiming what doesn’t belong to you alone..we be seen how troubled you were when nurses embark on most cases,your private hospital is more important to you than your paid job..
            Me think the privilege of practising in both govt and private should be that you either be a full time worker of a private person.

        • xabnuq

          Dont blame them..its not there fault..rather the half baked politicians that shivers when doctors threatens.Ask their oga,his much do they pay their doctor colligues in their private hospitals?..but because most of our policy makers are bereft of ideas..they kick in!!imagine somebody here saying a nurse spent 2 yrs?..I have seen so many of these baby doctors looking like nollywood actors rushing down to these nurses whenever they have complications..yet they do as if they know everything.
          What exactly is relativity? want to start at GL 13 while nurses with degree must start at GL8! the addition 2 yrs spent by doctors equals 12 yrs in service years for which doctors would be ahead!!is this a serious country?..unfortunately,they misinformed the public making people to believe they are all knowing!The greatest set of people that face the greatest hazard are the other health workers..infact attendant that earn less than 40k face more hazards than the doctors because they (other health workers )would come in contact with patients more than this doctors.!
          Local champions!!they can only brag in government private,ask there much do they pay doctors?..

  • D a n g o t e-C e m e n t


  • kenmege

    So a nurse that had 2 years of Learning and a lab scientist that just completed a 4 year course are all angling to receive equal pay with the doctor that has put in a minimum of 8years in his training and does the bulk of the work in the hospital. What will follow after this, harmonization of Buhari’s salary with that of governors, local government chairmen and councillors? Bunch of jokers.

    • Jay Akin

      Ignorance is not an excuse for misbehavior. You have displayed grass ignorance that can not be excused when great minds that shape a nation are discussing. How can you say Nursing is a two year programme, and they handle the lives of all inwards patients? The oracle that decides what is the exact situation of your internal environment you claim spend 4 years? You are a politician that fools people with fake news in order to win their sympathy. God sits on His throne and will punish all evil doers. No sinner shall go unpunished.

      • likita

        what has God got to do in this discussion or evil doers. Don’t use the name of God in vain

      • laki

        What has God to do with this discussion or the issue of evi doers. Please don’t his name in vain

    • stanejike

      A doctor comes to work around 9am, attends to few patients (via mere scribbling of instructions for others to carry out), looks at his watch and its past 2pm. He zooms of for a break and ends up in his own personal clinic for the rest of the day. Meanwhile, other health professionals must always be on ground all the time. I have never heard that that a patient was taken to a hospital on emergency and the nurse or pharmacist or lab scientist was not on duty. But many patients have lost their lives because of no doctor on duty. Let’s learn from other civilised countries how other health professionals are respected and renumerated!

    • KWYNE

      Who told you nurses train for 2yrs? Have you even seen the curriculum of nurses? Do you have an idea of how their exams look like? Do you know the health hazards they face as they are the ones that have direct contact with patients? Am sure you dn’t have answers to these questions and even if you do,you’ll be so wrong cause it’s clear from your referencing of 2yrs training of Nurses. You should know that everyone in the health sector is as important as Doctors are. Doctors cn’t strive alone neither can other health workers….Everyone should be paid well and leave all this who is superior to who , cause everyone is a king kong in their field.Non supercedes the other!

      • PolyGon2013

        There is Master of Nursing and a Doctor of Nursing too. Those 2 takes 6 to 8 years respectively.

    • jassman

      The problem with these Nigeria Doctors is that they believe they know everything. How can u say a nurse has 2years training,. Is there anything wrong with your head?

    • Kendra

      Don’t be misinformed pls! Nurses undergo 5 years of training in order to be skilled in the care they render. Where did you get your idea of 2 years from? Yet when they leave the shores of the country, these Doctors shove their titles aside, and become nurses because the pay is all what they are after!

    • PolyGon2013

      We know that a medical doctor plays the most significant role in a medical team. However he or she needs other clinicians to provide good health care. By the way, it takes more than 2 years to become a nurse, and it also depend on the level too. Have you forgotten about Doctor of Nursing? A person with that degree is a nurse. On what scale should that person be?

    • Muyiwa

      Medical laboratory scientist spent five years in training +1year internship+1year NYSC. Medical laboratory scientist does a lot of medical laboratory benchwirk and scientific research to promote global health as do all other health profession. A medical laboratory scientist work directly with body fluid not just patient and place them at a very high risk of contracting infection should anything go wrong. Other health profession have their own risk as well. 94% of medical diagnosis passes through the medical laboratory for assertion before the doctor would place a patient on medication if previous prognosis failed; it prevent patient from being treated as some experimental animal save for the fact that the doctors prognosis is right to alleviate the patient condition before further testing. Prior to surgery, nature of blood, blood group and rhesus factor test are necessary because most patient would definitely need blood after; the doctor need to know the patient health status through blood to avoid risk of infection during surgery; body samples kept for clinical purpose are studied at the bench level for disease by medical laboratory scientist or medical laboratory technician under the supervision of the former: all this were done by the medical laboratory scientist. Cholesterol, Sugar and other fluid related test are equally done in chemical pathology department by the medical laboratory scientist. So it is obvious that we all play a very critical and central role than for one profession to come out and say it does the bulk of the work although they have wider speciality than others yet it should not claim doing the bulk of the work over others. How about those who do works very sensitive ; works which predicate the works of the doctors. All the health profession are all unique and important in their own right

  • Isaac Azor

    Selfish human beings! These are the people who most of them have abandoned the public hospitals for their owns. Most of them give just about 40% of their time to public hospitals and 60% to their hospitals. Here they are complaining about the people that most of their time to public works!

    • Manuel Tobby

      Don’t mind them please, just stop seeing doctors anytime you are sick.

      • PolyGon2013

        Yep. They can go and see babalawo, and all would be well.

        • xabnuq

          Local champion..these half baked nollywood doctors braging….
          What is certain is everybody is important min the hospital!!