To Retire or Not to Retire Physicians at 55- that is the question!
Many government-employed physicians feel that by 55 years they have paid their public service dues and actually look forward to retiring and the possibility of a second career in the private sector. There, they can be better remunerated and have a chance to adequatelyprepare for actual retirement.The government on the other hand is in no hurry to increase the numbers of physicians it will have on its payroll in the event of an increase in the retirement age. The current arrangement seems to be a “win-win” situation for both the doctors and the government and maybe explains why there has never been a push by either side to adjust the retirement age for doctors in Cameroon.
The biggest losers however remain the Cameroonian people and their healthcare system, losing out on experienced physicians who can strengthen the quality of care provided by their experience and serve as mentors for younger physicians joining the work force. Ultimately, increasing the retirement age for government employed physicians in Cameroon will have to be part of a larger reform plan for Cameroon’s healthcare system alongside much needed improvements in remuneration for physicians as well as better working conditions.
To retire or not to retire Cameroon’s physicians at 55, that is the question with no straightforward answer. Talking about it however are baby steps towards understanding this complex issue directly affecting our healthcare system’s main task force. At a time when Cameroon’s healthcare system is undergoing a series of much needed reforms, the time is nigh to finally address the issue of retirement age for its physicians.
Dr. Boghuma Titanji
MD, MSc., DTM&H, PhD