Govt can’t promise workers impossible wage –Health Minister

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Ali Pate, says the Federal Government is committed to improving the welfare and wages of doctors, nurses and other health workers in the country.

The minister, however, said the current administration cannot promise an “impossible” wage that it can’t afford.

Prof Pate, who was a guest on Channels Television’s The Morning Brief show on Wednesday, appreciated health workers who go abroad for training and return home to offer their professional services to the country.

The minister said, “We appreciate them. There are few who chose to go abroad for training. We’ve approved for some of them to go to other places to be trained. We expect that when they train, they will come back home.

“We are expanding the training of those who are around and improving the working conditions.

“In the context of the wage review that is ongoing in the country, of course with the Salary Incomes and Wages Commission, we have made submissions to have some adjustment of the remuneration of the health workforce.

“At the end of the day, it’s what the economy can afford. At the end of the day, you cannot give what you don’t have and so we have to be very deliberate not to promise things that are impossible to fulfill.

“Many of the legacy issues are 10 years; promises that had been made and could not be achieved. So it’s pointless to keep making promises and setting yourself up when you cannot fulfill them.

“One thing for sure: this President is committed to the welfare of the Nigerian workforce and in our case in health the sector, he is the champion for Health Resource in the African Union, and that says a lot about where his mind is in terms of the health workforce.”

The health minister’s comment comes hours after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) stepped down a minimum wage review memo to allow for more consultations.



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