Ngige: States Not Meeting their Responsibilities in Health Sector

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Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has accused most state governments of not doing enough to equip hospitals in their domains.

Ngige made this accusation yesterday when he welcomed the President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Prof. Innocent Ujah, and insisted that the federal government has been doing a lot to meet the needs of the health sector.

“We started implementing the Healthcare Act, especially the aspect that had to do with the funding of the basic healthcare. We do our federal component, the states are reluctant to do theirs, and you know that aspect has to do with treatment of emergency cases. The basic healthcare is the cornerstone of the health care system,” he said.

He, however, said that the government is experiencing problems with the implementation of the new hazard allowance for health workers, which rose due to the additions of new staff in some health institutions.

“Unfortunately, the federal government’s budgeting did not align with the N20 billion agreement on doctors hazard allowance.

He said that government has overshot the estimate by N2 billion bringing it to N22 billion.

According to him, the federal government has run around to make up the money and is now processing payment for the June hazard allowance.

He urged the NMA to cooperate with the federal government in making states to live up with its expectation by doing their own part in allocating required funds to the health sector.

Earlier, Ujah requested that federal government should ensure stricter implementation of agreements it reached with the doctors.