Federal Govt Orders Recruitment Of Medical Workers

Brighton

To fill the gap created by the ‘Japa’ syndrome, the federal government has directed federal teaching hospitals to accelerate their hiring processes for medical professionals, including doctors and nurses, to prevent a shortage of healthcare workers.  

The federal government also reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing the well-being and safety of medical professionals and upgrading all government-run healthcare facilities nationwide.

The move to employ the medical professionals was disclosed at a meeting convened by the minister of state for labour and employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, in her office, where she met with representatives from the Federal Ministry of Health and the leadership of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) led by its national president, Dr Dele Abdullahi.

 The meeting discussed and resolved issues brought forward by the association to the ministry.

In a statement by the minister‘s media adviser, Emameh Gabriel, he said the leadership of the medical association presented their grievances to the minister.

The meeting agreed on the urgent need to address the issues, including unresolved matters inherited from the previous administration.

The pressing concerns are inadequate compensation, delayed payments of allowances, insufficient training funds, issues with the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), poor working conditions and security threats, notably the recent incident at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Lokoja in Kogi State.

Although the government acknowledged the concerns of the medical community, it assured that efforts are underway to resolve the issues, with some already addressed and others in various stages of implementation.

Additionally, relevant agencies are working to tackle specific problems, with the belief that improved working conditions and benefits will incentivize healthcare professionals who have left the country to return.

In her remarks, the minister expressed gratitude to the association for its willingness to work together and acknowledged their recognition of the government‘s achievements in specific areas, stating the positive outcomes of their cooperation.

She said: „I had earlier heard about some of your concerns raised, and of which I deemed very serious. I share in your concerns and I am here to let you know that the government is poised to improve your standard, believing that when you are treated well, those who left our country will return, because Nigeria is the best place to stay. 

I believe that strike is the last option. That is why I wouldn‘t want to wait till strike notice is issued.

“I have heard what you have said. The good thing is that we have been very cooperative, and I will reach out to my colleagues whose offices fall within the duties of certain issues you have raised. So that we will know how to fast-track solutions. I am glad that you acknowledged some of the areas the Ministry of Health has addressed and how they have been ‘proactive.’ I am promising you that we have a government that is responsible and proactive. Our President is committed and pushes us to ensure that we do not leave the situation of things the way we met them.“

The permanent secretary, Ministry of Health, Daju Kachollom, who represented the minister of health, acknowledged the issues and noted that the Ministry of Health was working with other relevant ministries to address the concerns, including power supply and security.

 She said the 2024 budget has provisions for solar power in all federal tertiary hospitals.

Finally, she announced that the Ministry of Health had instructed teaching hospitals to double their intake of doctors and nurses.

She said: „In our health sector, our doctors are no doubt the best paid, but their remuneration needs to be improved. I wish the Federal Ministry of Finance and the accountant general were here to say more, because the issue of remuneration cannot be solved only by the Ministry of Labour, and the Ministry of Health.

“On the issue of power, the federal minister of health is in touch with the ministry of power. In the 2024 budget, there is a provision for solar power for federal tertiary hospitals. On the issue of Japa, everyone is ‘japaing’ for several reasons and we are putting in our best to ensure we do not lack manpower in our health sector.”

 

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