NMA lauds Gov. Umahi Over Investments In Health Sector, Challenges Imo, Abia

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) on Sunday in Abakaliki commended Ebonyi’s Gov. Dave Umahi for his efforts at transforming the health sector in the state.

The NMA Southeast Caucus comprising Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states branches gave the commendation in a communiqué issued at the end of its general meeting held in Abakaliki.

The communiqué was signed by Dr. JideOnyekwelu, and Dr Dubem Awachie, chairman and secretary of the caucus respectively.

The doctors declared that the construction and equipping of a virology centre alongside a standard accident/emergency complex at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Ebonyi, was a great addition to healthcare delivery in the state.

The NMA also lauded Gov. Umahi for building the King David University of Medical Sciences, a world class facility which has “state-of- science’’ facilities within a record time.

According to it, the hospital is a centre of excellence for eye care, maternal and new born health, radiotherapy, kidney transplant and dialyses.

“These monumental achievements coupled with good road network and prompt regular payment of salaries of health workers have made Ebonyi stand out in the southeast, ‘’ the communiqué stated.

The caucus also commended Enugu State government for prompt and regular payment of health workers’ salaries.

It commended Anambra government for prompt and regular payment of doctors’ salaries, but expressed regret that the pay fell far short of the provisions of the Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS).

“Anambra has continued to pay salaries regularly. However, it is yet to upgrade doctors’ pays adjusted in the 2019 CONMESS, as is obtainable with their Federal counterparts,’’ the communique stated.

It described the condition of health workers in Imo as “very poor’’,  and expressed the hope for a turnaround in the health sector in the state.

The caucus, however, appreciated the state’s Gov. Hope Uzodinma for appointing Dr. Barth Okorochukwu as health commissioner.

“The outrageous salary arrears owed Abia doctors remains an unpalatable and unacceptable situation. This has led to the worsening of healthcare delivery in the state.

“We demand that as a matter of urgency, the Abia government should pay accrued arrears to doctors and other healthcare workers and make urgent efforts to revamp healthcare delivery in the state.

The southeast doctors opposed the removal of House Officers and NYSC doctors from the Scheme of Service and Salary Structure of Medical Doctors and demanded for its immediate reversal.

According to them, the action is in utmost bad faith and will seriously jeopardise healthcare delivery in the area and capable of disrupting industrial harmony in the health sector.

The NMA said the Federal Government and various governments in the southeast should do more to protect the lives of people in the region.

“The increasing rate of killings, banditry, kidnapping and disruption of socioeconomic activities, portend grave danger to healthcare delivery to our people.

“The safety of healthcare workers is paramount in ensuring their continued sacrifices and unhindered service delivery,’’ the communiqué stressed.

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