A joint union of The Nigeria Medical Association and the Nigerian Association of Nurses and midwives Cross River State Chapter paid a courtesy call on the Honorable Commissioner for Health Dr. Betta Edu in her office yesterday as they congratulated her on her appointment as Commissioner for Health noting that it was indeed divine and timely!
In an address jointly signed by the State Chairmen of the professional bodies, Dr Abam E Ayuk(NMA) and Comrade Ojong O Ofut (NANNM) respectively, and presented by the NMA Chairman, they said, “We once again congratulate you on behalf of both professional bodies on your appointment as honourable Commissioner for Health, and subsequent elevation at National levels. “Your appointment did not come as a surprise to many as it was earned and well deserved having served creditably as pioneer Director-General, Primary Health Care Development Agency”. “With barely two months in office, we are noticing signs of great things happening everywhere in the Cross River State Health Sector. Now we understand what the Ayade magic means”!
The Joint team who had all their EXCO members in the meeting said if 3 of their challenges can be addressed in addition to all that is happening presently, the Governor will write his name in Gold as it concerns health care in Nigeria. They appealed to the State Government to address human resource for health gaps, remuneration of health workers and the State health insurance.
Other areas also identified for intervention include, upgrading of schools of nursing to College of Nursing sciences.
“Honourable Commissioner Ma, the role of a team-based approach to quality health care delivery cannot be overemphasised. Doctors and nurses’ collaboration unarguably leads to better patient and organisational outcome as core members of the healthcare team. In Nigeria, there has been a strained relationship among healthcare professionals. The poor doctors-nurses relationship has not only led to poor quality service delivery but has made it difficult for both professions to achieve collective bargain in labour-related issues and unified position in health policies and allied matters.
“It is on this premise that both bodies put up a team at the national level to work on inter-professional harmony. Both professional bodies looked at the collective strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. And have agreed to work together to improve the health system.
We analysed the Cross River State health sector and identified two major issues that has impacted negatively on the health sector and need urgent attention by His Excellency, Senator, Prof. Ben Ayade.
On human resource for health, WHO has it on record that skilled health workers are the critical pathway to attaining the health targets in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), (Health and well being). An adequate, well-distributed, motivated and supported health workforce is required for strengthening primary health care and to progress towards Universal Health Coverage. The workforce strength is low. Likewise, there is a gross shortage of Doctors, Nurses, and midwives
“Regarding remuneration, Cross River State remains virtually the only State in the country that has not implemented 100% CONMESS and CONHESS for Doctors and Nurses respectively. This has lead to the exit of most professionals from State service. Implementation of 100% CONMESS and CONHESS will not only help to attract a skilled workforce but will help to retain them in service”.
“Our dear Commissioner, both professions are all in agreement that your appointment was divinely timed to especially help the Cross River State health sector. We seek your support and urgent intervention on the issues raised”.
“This courtesy visit affords us the opportunity not only to interact with you as we seek your support for both professions but to also assure you of our support as we work together to improve the Cross River Health Sector.” We are confident that you will perform exceptionally well; the signs are already clear.!
The leaders of the health workers pledged their unalloyed support to the commissioner and the Gov Ayade led administration.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, thanking the medical workers for their supports so far, assured them of the State Governor’s commitment to totally revamp the health sector “WHATEVER OUR PROBLEMS ARE, Governor AYADE IS THE ANSWER” She assured them that employment of qualified health professionals will be conclude soon.
She opined that the health sector in the State is very dear to the Governor, and hinted that by March 2020 lots of good news will be heard in the sector. As the issues of Employment of health workers, payment of 100% CONMESS and the Health insurance will soon be put to rest completely.!
While applauding both professional bodies for their partnership, she charged them to continue with good health care service delivery at all levels. She however, appealed to the leadership of the both professional bodies to introduce leadership courses to enhance the managerial skills of their members. She also appealed to them to look into the activities of their members to ensure they do the right things at all times in the interest of the patients.
In the same vein, the Permanent Secretary of the Cross River State Ministry Of Health, Takon Asu expressed Joy for the collaborations between the Association as he assured the professional bodies of utmost cooperation from the Ministry Charging them to put more effort in Health care delivery.