FG Unveils Policy to Check Brain Drain in Health Sector

Okon Bassey in Uyo

The federal government at the weekend pledged to strengthen capacity and respond to health threats in the country.

 The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire disclosed this at the inauguration of projects at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital.

 He explained that the Federal Ministry of Health had now introduced “a one-to-one policy that would now allow a Chief Medical Director to make an immediate replacement of a doctor or nurse who is permanently out of service.”

 He said: “This policy is to enable the federal government address gap in manpower in health sector in the federal civil service.

 “CMDs should be careful not to abuse this policy as this has thwarted the process when newly introduced where one doctor leaves and the management brought in a dozen unrelated persons which over crowded the hospitals.”

 The projects commissioned by the minister at the UUTH included molecular laboratory complex, new Oxygen Plant, patients clinic complex and medical out patients clinic.

 Others were surgical out patients clinic, orthopaedic out patients clinic, genealogy, pharmacy/laboratory unit, radiology complex, renovated and re-equipped intensive care complex- all funded by the federal government under Covid -19 funds.

 The minister, who expressed satisfaction with management of the hospital, compared the trajectory of development in the Hospital to that of one of the frontline hospitals in India.

 He said the many projects commissioned was a reflection of the federal government’s commitment to provide modern equipped health care centres to citizens in fulfilment of its mandate to Nigeria.

He said: “Your projects here were carried out during COVID-19, and the infrastructure that you have invited us to commission are commendable. I praise the CMD, Chairman of the board and the entire team for their leadership, their foresight and dedication.

“All these projects have the federal government backing and were meant to improve lives and address public health threats which Nigerians faced constantly, as well as assist in preventing infectious diseases.

“These commissioned projects have the capacity to respond to all health threats. We are informed of ongoing project and we believe all these have the potential to improve the quality of diagnostic and therapeutic services offered by the UUTH.”

Also at the inauguration, Chief Medical Director, UUTH, Prof Ememabasi Bassey said the infrastructural renaissance in the teaching hospital came through his initial assessment on assumption of office four years ago, which throw up indications that the hospital had not kept pace with expected transition in the tertiary healthcare sector.

He said: “When we took over, we undertook the first line of assessment of the hospital to identify all the challenges and proffer solutions and then set up a new mission and vision for the hospital.

“Today, you will be commissioning a number of projects in the hospital. The projects include the molecular laboratory complex, one is for the HIV programme and the federal government funded the others as part of the COVID-19 intervention funds.”

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