Doctors in Delta State under the aegis of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Friday renewed their demand for an upward review of their hazard allowance from N5,000.00 to a percentage of the consolidated basic salary to boost their morale in the fight against COVID-19.
They also demanded the institution of compensation package for all healthcare workers who may die or suffer disability from attending to patients suffering from the global infection.
While also demanding tax relief on earned allowances for all healthcare workers, the NMA advocated special allowances for volunteer healthcare workers at case management centres throughout the duration of their stay at the centres.
Addressing newsmen in Asaba on Friday, the state chairman of the association, Dr. Omo Ekeneam did not however state what the doctors would do if the demands are not met, expressing the confidence that the state government will do the needful.
Urging the state government to provide appropriately Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers especially HAZMAT suits for those at isolation wards, Ekeneam warned his colleagues not to go near any COVID-19 positive patient without the appropriate PPE.
He said the demands had become necessary to avoid losing doctors and other healthcare workers to death while attempting to save lives.
“The third COVID-19 positive case in Ondo State sadly is a post NYSC doctor that attended to the index case before he was confirmed positive when he presented at the army clinic.
“Recently, Lagos State lost a doctor who had attended to a COVID-19 positive patient. Prior to this, another doctor had succumbed to the disease in Katsina State, and presently his wife and two children are positive to the virus,” the NMA chairman said.
Ekeneam urged the public to obey the stay-at-home order and observe regular hand washing with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitisers, social distancing and other practices, saying that COVID-19 is a not a political scam but a new disease against which a vaccine has not be found.
“We pray that COVID-19 will go away but what we know is that it may go away, it may not disappear. COVID-19 is a new disease, and like other ailments such as Lassa fever, HIV/Aids, we will get used to it. What we also know is that a vaccine will be developed, and patients will be coming for treatment,” he said.