Members of the Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria, AHAPN have asked the federal government for an immediate upward salary review, as reflected in the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) table for pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.
They have also called for the payment of their two months withheld salary arrears of April and May 2018.
“We want to use this medium to draw the attention of government to these protracted issues that have demotivated pharmacists in the discharge of their duties of care to millions of Nigerians. The federal government should look at a holistic way of solving the myriads of problems of the healthcare sector instead of the current piecemeal approach that is cosmetic, shallow and creates more problems at the end of the day”, they stated.
AHAPN in a press statement jointly signed by the National Chairman, Dr Kingsley Amibor and the National Secretary, Dr Hafiz Ola Akande, expressed its grievances with the government for its failure to review the salary structure of other health professionals, having adjusted that of medical doctors twice over the period of 6 years.
The association explained that contrary to the decision reached in 2008 which brought about the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) table for medical doctors and Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) table for pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, the federal government has adopted the CONMESS table while neglecting that of CONHESS.
AHAPN said: “The federal government in 2014, over 6 years ago, adjusted the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) table for medical doctors and has since adjusted the CONMESS twice without any single adjustment to the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) table for pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.
“ It is worthy of note that in 2008, there was a job evaluation in the healthcare sector in this country which gave rise to the CONHESS and CONMESS, taking into cognizance, relativity in salary and allowances; a recommendation that was intended to reduce the level of acrimony in the health care sector. Sadly, this recommendation was partially adopted with the adjustments to the CONMESS Table without relative adjustment of the CONHESS Table.
“We call on government to do the needful, which is, immediate adjustment of CONHESS as has been continuously canvassed by pharmacists and other healthcare workers, in order to avoid needless strike actions and disruptions in service delivery in the healthcare sector”, the association pleaded.
The association also craved the indulgence of government to the provision of adequate personal protective equipment, PPE, for frontline pharmacists and other healthcare professionals battling with the containment of the deadly COVID-19, saying the news of pharmacists coming down with the infection on a daily basis is not a welcomed development.
It further reminded the government to make good its decision of the upgraded hazard allowance for healthcare workers, noting that the pronouncement has not translated into a tangible result, as they are yet to be paid.
They said: “We appreciate the government on the efforts being made to contain the Corona pandemic in the country, however we must state that pharmacists and other healthcare workers are getting infected every day because of lack of basic personal protective equipment (PPE).
“We call on government to provide adequate PPEs for pharmacists and other healthcare workers who are at the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic control efforts.
“Additionally, we wish to remind government to honour her decision of paying enhanced hazard allowance to healthcare workers since March, 2020. This pronouncement has not translated into tangible result yet. For proper motivation of healthcare workers, we call on the federal government and other states in the federation who have made similar promises, to pay healthcare professionals the enhanced allowance” they requested.