Sequel to the order for relevant authorities to sanction health workers, who demand for money in exchange for immunisation in public hospitals across the state, residents in the state have hailed Governor Godwin Obaseki for moving against the erring workers.
The residents said though the habit has festered for some time, the governor’s intervention will check the excesses of the exploitative health workers and ensure that services in public hospitals are efficient to attain the goal of the immunisation exercise.
A cross-section of the residents, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital, on Thursday, disclosed that the practise was rife among some health workers, as they had converted the hospitals into a marketplace.
Mr. Eghosa Osato, who said that the directive against the health workers was long overdue, said that he felt defrauded when he was made to pay for immunisation which he had later learnt was free.
According to him, “The governor’s directive is a masterstroke, especially against the health workers who had turned the hospitals to trading spots. Immunisation is supposed to be public service and free of charge, so I was surprised when I was asked to pay when I went to get my son immunised in a hospital in Oredo Local Government.”
He lauded the governor for the move, as health workers who are caught will now be made to face the music, adding, “I am certain that this would serve as a deterrent to other workers, who see the service they offer the public as an avenue to enrich themselves.”
Mrs. Blessing Igbinoba, a mother of two, said that the practice among health workers was condemnable, thanking the state government for stepping in to ensure that those who engage in the disgraceful practice are identified and disciplined.
She said, “I have had to part with money when I went to get my two children immunised in one of the public hospitals in Egor Local Government Area. It is either they are asking us to pay for paracetamol before the children are immunised or they outrightly demand money. I knew it was bad, but what could I have done at the time. With the directive now, I know there would be a change in the way immunisation is administered. I want those who tarnish government image sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to others.”