By DANIELA ITOE NGUM
Health personnel in the town of Kumba, Meme Division of the South West Region, on Friday July 3 2020, with euphoria, received Presidential Decree No. 2020/369 of July 3, 2020 to raise the retirement age of civil servants of the health sector by an additional five years.
The health workers who expressed their joy by appreciating the decision of the Head of State, promised to work tirelessly to ensure patients have the best of health care.
According to some, the five-year increment will serve as a boost to the services they offer, as it will help them to prepare for a more comfortable retirement.
Some however, held that the presidential gesture should have included all health workers, since whether be it a civil servant or not, they all offer the same services to the population.
The SUN sampled opinions of some health personnel in the town of Kumba concerning the five-year retirement increase and the following are some captured reactions:
It is time to make up for lost years – Dr. Emmanuel Lenya Nefenda (District Medical Officer, Kumba)
I have mixed feelings towards the extension because I was already planning that by the time I am at my retirement age, I would have been ready to take up other things and have a good rest but with the extension in the number of years, I am more or less tight down from doing other things. I am also very happy with the Head of State because with the economic crisis that has come up because of Covid-19, I can say that I have lost so much time and as such it is a good time to make up. The various associations of health in the country have been agitating for increment in the retirement age, this has been for a long time and there have been various reasons for that we know. It is a very good thing that the President has done at this particular time of Covid-19 and the Anglophone crisis because I must tell you that in this crisis, we have virtually lost more years than we can think of, either we are displaced, not working or being chased into the bush or working haphazardly. The fact that he has done this will make the quality of services to be a lot better because we are going to have those staff who would have been sent away from the system and most of those staff are those who are professionally experienced. We hope that other staff such as contract workers, and other staff would have been included in the package because most of them are the majority in the hospitals.
A lot can be achieved during this period – Ebako Fule (Bursar, CMA Ntam Hospital, Kumba)
I am very delighted with the Head of State’s decision because we have been waiting for this for years but it was not forth coming. I believe that with the extension of this five-year period into the retirement age of state health personnel, more will be achieved in terms of services offered. Though not all health workers were included in the package, we remain hopeful that subsequently they will include them. We are happy for the first move by the Head of State.
It should be an inclusive package – Nebare nee Embe Stella Esime (Midwife, General Supervisor Ntam Hospital, Kumba)
Though am not a civil servant but a contract worker at the Ntam Integrated Health Center, Kumba, I am still happy because we are in the same field of work. We are praying that if the civil servants have an increase in retirement age, it should be extended to all, since we are doing the same job! I am happy for the gesture of the President of the Republic. I equally wish that the other workers are integrated into the civil service of the government because all of us are trained personnel from health institutions.