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Governor Ayade React To The Recent Affairs of all Public Secondary Healthcare facilities

Governor Ayade Moves To Revamp Medical Diagnostic Services Across Secondary Facilities In CRS.

In a swift and unprecedented move, the Governor Ayade administration has given a marching order to the state Health team to guarantee medical diagnostic (testing) services across all Secondary Healthcare facilities in the 18 LGA of CRS.

Presenting the new directive at the Calabar General Hospital last week, the Special Adviser to His Excellency on health matters, Dr David Ushie, informed heads of General and Cottage hospitals of His Excellency’s displeasure with the near absence of testing capacities in most of the state Health facilities.

‘His Excellency, Governor Ben Ayade is very unhappy with the state of affairs where nearly all our Public Secondary Healthcare facilities are unable to do simple Ultrasound scan, plain X-ray, and Sundry diagnostic services that save lives’. Governor Ayade is angry that pregnant women, children under 5 years and accident victims are left to run from street to street in search of testing services because our govt hospitals are unable to offer the services’.

Decrying the situation, Dr Ushie added that the lack of testing capacities have led to poor service quality, revenue loss and redundancy in the health manpower as government personnel who are hired to perform such services have been earning salaries without work.

The situation, he lamented, ‘continues to erode public confidence in the public health system as well as it creates economic save havens for quacks who have set up indiscriminate and substandard facilities to swindle our people across the state’.

‘After reviewing the situation, Governor Ayade has taken steps to address the problems of equipment and training aiming to revamp the capacities of our facilities and personnel to commence the quality services that are essential for the smooth operation of our universal healthcare access through the opportunities of the state health insurance services of CRSHIA’.

Dr Ushie informed the medical superintendents that the ‘Administration has finally signed a Public Private Partnership with a reputable testing organization (Health Horizon limited) which contract was signed in Jan, 2022 and is set to commence facility-based pilot services in phases.

‘The agreement, he noted, addressed the need for training and retraining of our state personnel, physical facility upgrade, equipment purchase and installations and is to be operated jointly by both parties. Additional stipends have also been agreed to motivate our staff for the required improvement in quality of care’. He charged all Medical superintendents to reinvigorate their work policies for the increased services that the partnership promises and to take full advantage of the opportunity to upgrade skills and justify the investment.

During the discussion segment, the medical superintendents and the key Directors in the state ministry of health assessed the agreement clause by clause and praised the Gov for the details and transparency employed in the planning.

Responding, Medical Superintendents decried the paucity of personnel and the poor renumeration of the various staff categories as part the causes of their underperformance. Some superintendents lamented that they were the only clinicians in their facilities, a situation associated with burn-out syndrome and a lack of interest to out in their best on the job. Others reminded the Special Adviser of the non implementation of their 100% CONMESS which His Excellency approved nearly a year ago but which has yet to be imolemented.

The Permanent Secretary, Chief Dr Iwara Innocent Iwara assured the Heads of facilities that the new arrangement will go along way to assuage the listed problems.

In the same light, the Director of Medical and Dental Services, DMDS, Dr Itam Essien, assured the medical superintendents of the circular issued by the new HoS which is awaiting actions for mass recruitments into the state public Health services. He reminded the gathering that ‘Health manpower shortage is not limited to the operations at facilities but also affects the policy Heads and offices in the headquarters office where he works’.

‘The Gov’s action of quickly filling the gaps that recently existed in the entire ministry where we had no Director of Administration, no Perm Sec, and no Commissioner, shows that the governor has his heart in the wellbeing of the ministry’, he concluded.

Responding, the Special Adviser assured that he was following up with the Auditor General of the state to continue the efforts already put into the two issues by our former Commissioner Dr Betta now APC NWL, promising that the issues are being addressed speedily.

The meeting concluded with agreements on some next steps which included a tour of the first four pilot facilities followed by training by Health Horizon LTD, and installation of testing equipments in the listed hospitals on or before July, 2022.

Health Horizon Ltd is a medical diagnostic consortium with operations headquarters in Ghana. The company began Nigeria operations in 2021 in Lagos state, South western Nigeria.

The addition of diagnostic capacities, Dr Ushie stated, comes to complete the ongoing Health insurance scheme operations, supply chain transformation project, as well as the drugs and Health consumables solutions which are currently deployed by the state government in deliberate efforts to birth universal health coverage, UHC in CRS.

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