Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has granted express approval to the Governing Boards of Kogi State Hospitals Management Board (KSHMB) and Kogi Specialist Hospital, Lokoja (KSSH) to employ more doctors.
Dr. Haruna Saka, Kogi Commissioner for Health, disclosed this on Friday in Lokoja while reacting to the exit of some doctors from the state’s civil service over the past three years.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) on Monday called on the governor to reverse the ‘current internal drift’ of doctors and other healthcare workers in the state.
The Kogi NMA Chairman, Dr. Kabiru Zubair, said over 88 medical doctors had left the state public service under the current administration.
The commissioner however said that the doctors left because they secured Post Graduate training in Federal Government’s teaching hospitals, adding that the bulk of them were those recently employed by the state.
“Majority of them had passed the primary examination of the National Postgraduate Medical College and West African Postgraduate College.
“So ab initio, we never expected them to stay for long before commencing their training.
“It has been a recurring trend to see doctors leave state public service once federal government opportunity presents itself such as lift of ban on employment of resident doctors.
“Doctors who have intention of undergoing postgraduate training usually migrate towards federal service because till date, only very few states have the capacity to train resident doctors.
“To make working condition conducive for doctors in Kogi, the government has taken further measures by giving approval to the state specialist hospital to commence internship training for doctors.
“The specialist hospital will also acquire capacity to train Resident Doctors with immediate effect,” Saka said.
The commissioner added that the governor had also approved welfare packages for new doctors, including interest free loan facilities to help them acclimatise when they come in.
He further said that the governor had approved an arrangement for doctors in federal institutions in Kogi to also provide services in state health facilities that were under staffed.
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has called on Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi to reverse the ‘current internal drift’ of doctors and other healthcare workers in the state.
The association made the appeal in a statement issued to newsmen in Lokoja on Monday by the state NMA Chairman, Dr Kabiru Zubair.
This followed the exit of 88 medical doctors from the state public service.
The association however felicitated with the governor on the celebration of his third year anniversary in office and for making healthcare one of his five thematic areas.
According to Zubair, “Under this administration, a total of 88 doctors have left the Kogi Civil Service; previously, 79 doctors left plus another nine who had succeeded in securing new employment recently.
“Doctors and other healthcare workers remained the drivers of healthcare delivery anywhere in the world.
“Steps such as the payment of outstanding salary arrears of doctors and other healthcare workers, implementation of the corrected CONMESS, promotion and annual step increment, among others, are needed to reverse this unfortunate trend.
“As you commence your fourth year in office, the NMA as the custodian of the health of the people is ready and willing to partner with state government to improve the health sector in Kogi.’’
Zubair said that the association equally felicitated with the Deputy Governor, the SSG, the Chief of Staff,
Commissioner for Health, Special Adviser on Health Matters and the entire cabinet members for sustaining the progress made thus far.
NAN recalls that Bello was sworn-in as the fourth civilian governor of Kogi by the satte Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah, on Jan. 27, 2016.
Zubair, however, commended the state government and Bello for some positive steps the government had taken in repositioning the health sector in the state.