By Neville Mesumbe
Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya, and the Prime Minister, Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute have signed separate decrees extending the retirement ages of healthcare providers and medical personnel in Cameroon.
The first decree, signed Saturday, July 04 by the Head of State, extended the retirement ages of civil servant healthcare providers in Categories A and B from 55 years to 60 years, while Categories C and D’s retirement ages were elevated from ages 50 to 55. Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute signed another decree that extended the retirement ages of state medical personnel and paramedics of category 8-12 to 60 years, and categories 1-7 to 55 years respectively.
Reacting to the decrees, a public health physician and specialist in Paediatric Nutrition Dr Adidja Amani, appreciated the Head of State for the gesture. “This is a wonderful thing for us medical practitioners. We have been advocating for this age change for a long time and Minister Manaounda Malachie had promised to look into this. We thank him and the Head of State. The next move we hope to see is an increase in salary. This will greatly motivate us”.
Another medical practitioner, Dr Irene said the government should equally ensure that medical doctors start receiving their salary as soon as they leave school. “If they post doctors immediately after school and we start receiving salary immediately too then it’s better. I left school two years ago and no monthly salary yet; only some inconsistent transport fare. I also want to earn more,” Dr Irene said.
The advent of COVID-19 has put medical practitioners at the front-line position in combating the pandemic. Many doctors across the national territory have contracted the virus and lost their lives. These decrees to an extent put smiles on their faces for their selfless contribution to society.