Medical Doctors and some other officers in Gombe Isolation centres have resorted to prayers over what they termed inconsistent risk allowance approved by the state government.
gathered from some of them that aside from been underpaid their allowances are not regular.
A Medical Doctor at one of the state owned Isolation facilities who begged Anonymity told our correspondent how their welfare is not a priority for government.
He said many of them are just doing the work because of compassion, not because they are motivated.
He said, “What Gombe settled for is 50k for Doctors, 40k for nurses, 30k for environmental health officers while others collect 10k every week. I just received 50,000 for the first time since four weeks ago. Many doctors are not ready to volunteer due to high risk of being infected and the poor allowance is discouraging.”
Our correspondent exclusively gathered that in most of the facilities there are 3 doctors one in supervisory capacity, 1 is placed in charge and 1 other who is usually in alternate week duty.
Another Concerned Medic who also asked for the identity to be withheld for fear of victimization told our correspondent how they are working grudgingly.
According to the officer, “Initially government told us 70,000 will be paid to us every week but Government settled for 50,000 while we were already at work but it is not still regular. You leave your family to care for coronavirus patients but nothing to take home, what else can one do other than to pray and hope.”
Refuting the allegations Dr. Abubakar Joshua Deputy Incidence Manager on Covid-19 Response in Gombe state said officers on the front line get allowances on a weekly. However agreed that the account department is at the verge of resolving complaints of those with unpaid allowance.
He said “We pay our staff allowances for the response on a weekly basis and the response team comprise of all the front line officers and as far as am concerned we have made payment for all staff engaged for 3 weeks although some complained that they did not receive their payments which the account department is sorting out with their various banks. As of now approval has been given to offset another 2 weeks allowances which will be paid next week.”
Meanwhile Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association Dr Kefas Zawaya said there is no premium to front line officers.
According to him, “There is virtually no value on Health workers. The health workers were recently paid just recently this minimum wage and they got one month, immediately the issue of covid-19 came up and government said there was paucity of fund the first thing was to revert back to the old salary and not that they were paying anything extra. Remember that it was negotiated for, and health workers didn’t get 100%. There is rarely any incentive except for those in the so called ‘front line’, none of them can tell you this is the agreement to use to do this work.”