Kwara state Governor approves automatic replacement of doctors, others

By Tunde Akanbi, Ilorin

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The Kwara State Governor, North Central Nigeria and Chairman, Nigeria Governor’s Forum, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has given approvals for the automatic replacement of medical doctors, nurses and those who exit the state health facilities in search of greener pasture abroad.

The Executive Secretary, state Hospital Management Board, Dr AbdulRaheem Malik, disclosed this in Ilorin while featuring on the 38th edition of Media Parliament of the Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

The parliament was themed “Managing Brain Drain and Other Health Sector’s Challenges: Kwara State Government Approach.”

Malik, a renowned pharmacist, stated that the essence of the Governor’s approvals was to bridge the gap that might arise following the exodus of medical doctors and other related personnel in the nation’s health centres in pursuit of appreciable wage abroad otherwise referred to as ‘Japa’ in the local parlance.

The hospital management board scribe noted that the state government is recruiting medical staff to fill the existing vacancies and to ensure that more doctors and others are available to attend to patients in public hospitals.

According to him, the governor has approved for the board to replace one of one stressing that if a doctor resigns or leaves today, they have the automatic approvals of the Governor to replace that person.

“There is a one of one replacement already in place. And we are currently recruiting doctors, nurses and pharmacists.

“So, the periodic recruitment is already ongoing. It is not even periodic. It is like when somebody leaves, you replace so we can close the gap as often as possible,” Malik said.

The executive secretary of the hospital board, who attributed the exodus of medical doctors from the country to economic factor and demand for increase in wage, said many of them who relocated to developed countries did so as a result of attractive pay.

Malik, however, noted that Governor AbdulRazaq deployed measures to discourage movement of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other related personnel out of the public health facilities with the implementation of CONMESS for them.

He added that the state government has regularly sponsored training for nurses for personal development and to make them effective in their profession.

In his remarks, the state Chairman of NUJ, Abdullateef Lanre Ahmed, said the recent reports that about half of the nation’s medical personnel, especially medical doctors either relocated or currently resident in different parts of developed countries portends danger for the nation’s health sector.

He explained that a healthy living among residents can only be guaranteed when patients easily access medical personnel in the hospitals, particularly the public-owned for attention and treatment.

Ahmed therefore challenged the state government to recruit swiftly medical personnel in large number in its health facilities to bridge the gap of acute shortage of personnel and for proper attention to members of the public, who patronize government-owned hospitals the most.