Latest reports suggest that doctors treating the over 40 Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, are complaining about the failure of the Federal Government to pay their allowances.
It was gathered that there are five doctors and four nurses, as well as three cleaners working at the isolation centre who are collectively owed over N30m.
Reports also have it that due to the sensitive nature of the disease, the government picked and trained the doctors promising to pay them the sum of N50, 000 daily while nurses were to be paid N40,000.
The allowances, according to findings, are also supposed to cover feeding as well as accommodation, even though they were promised hotel accommodation near the hospital.
Top health officials, according to reports, stated that only N40,000 had been given to each doctor since they started working there on February 15, 2020.
A source said the doctors had already started working on suspected cases at the isolation centre before the first confirmed case in Abuja on March 20, 2020.
We were paid N20,000 the first week and then N20,000 the following week and we haven’t received anything since then. When we started, we were promised N50,000 per day for doctors while nurses receive N40,000. The cleaning staff were promised about N25,000 per day.
The health minister said during the Presidential task force briefing recently that we were well taken care of but we have not received anything besides the N40,000 in the last two months.
When we went to understudy Lagos at the time the disease first broke out in February, we were told that the doctors were receiving N50,000 per day. In fact, Dr Ismail Abdusalam, who was in charge of the doctors, said N40,000 was paid to nurses, N20,000 to cleaners and then there was a special package for security while the staff that come in contact with patients would be placed on life insurance. That was the template we used.
The health worker said some firms had offered to take care of the doctors but the hospital authorities seem to be more interested in donated equipment and neglecting the staff.
The CMD claims the government has not released the funds but the government claims the money has been released.