NMA cries out over concession of hospitals by Okorocha

  • Raises the alarm on IMSUTH
  • Describes concessioning as “criminal and cruel

Worried by alleged deaf ear paid by the Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha concerning concessioning policy of his administration, the State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has raised the alarm that such unpopular government policy was heading towards killing the health sector in the state.

Addressing a press briefing at the NMA secretariat in Owerri, Friday on the state of health sector in the state, its chairman, Dr. Hyacinth Emele also lamented the poor condition of health facilities and government insensitivity at the Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH), Orlu, the only teaching hospital in the state.

Dr. Emele who warned that if nothing urgently was done to arrest the deteriorating state of the teaching hospital, as it regards to accreditation, poor remuneration of doctors and medical staff, facilities, etc, the health training institution may go into extinction.

He observed that presently majority of doctors were resigning from the state-owned health institutions due to government insensitivity, poor salaries to health workers, lack of focus, dilapidation of health facilities, etc., describing the government action as “criminal and cruel” that should be widely condemned by all.

The NMA boss condemned the decision by government to concession all government health institutions as such act was targeted at killing the state health system.

“The move by the Imo State Government to hand-over the management of public health institutions to private individuals is totally condemned by NMA as health is one of the basic responsibilities a government owes its people”, he said.

He noted that concessioning the general hospitals and health centres so as to hands off such responsibilities or to generate profit would exclude the poor from accessing available and affordable quality healthcare and adversely affect the already poor health indices.

“Health sector is a social responsibility of government; it is not a profit-making sector the world over. Government should be made to understand that every sector in government is not about ‘buying and selling’. The profit you make in health sector is when the state has healthy people, diseases are promptly controlled, environment remains conducive for citizens, etc”, he lamented.

In view of their worries, the NMA therefore, demanded immediate payment in full of eight months’ salary arrears of doctors and health workers in the state, payment of corrected CONMESS and skipping to doctors working in the state, expansion of facilities including manpower and equipment at IMSUTH, General Hospitals and Primary health centres especially at IMSUTH in order to train more medical students and maintain accreditation.

Other demands include immediate lifting of ban on promotion of doctors and other health workers, immediate reversal of the process of handing over public health institutions to private individuals, and genuine commitment by the government to make sure that the health institutions function optimally for the good of all. (Thisday; Photo credit: elombah.com)

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