Labour unrest in Health sector has compromised efficiency, effectiveness - Says Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan has decried the degenerating state of the Nigerian health sector which he said has resulted to efficiency, effectiveness and proper coordination being compromised.
He stated this when he inaugurated the Presidential Committee of Experts on Inter-Professional Relationships in the public health sector, headed by former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mamud Yayale Ahmed.
Other members are Prof. Placid Njoku, Dr. Timiebi Koripamo-Agary, Julius Adelusi, Prof. Dennis Agbolahun, among others.
President Jonathan described as unacceptable the effect on victims, insisting that the health sector is a cardinal piority of his administration transformation agenda because “it is only healthy people that can work”.
He said it was in recognition of the attainment of the universal health coverage and the provision of comprehensive health care for all citizens that his administration is commited and determine to actualise the health related goals of the Millenium Development Goals, hence the decision to set up the Presidential Committee of Experts on Inter Professional Relationships in the Public Health Sector to check the drift in health care delivery system.
According to President Jonathan the committee was set up in the face of evident challenges in nation’s public health system occasioned by the frosty and unhealthy relationship between the diffent professional cadres working in the sector.
“This state of acrimony has compromised efficiency, effectiveness and proper coordination that thus resulting in health delivery that has not met our administration’s expectations. The direct victims of this unacceptable state of affairs are our people who at the end of the day complain bitterly. The health sector is a cardinal piority of our transformation agenda because it is only healthy people that can work. Attainment of the universal health coverage and the provision of comprehensive health care for all our citizens is a goal we have set for ourselves.
“It is in recognition of this commiment and our determination to actualise the health related goals of the Millenium Development Goals that I decided to set up the Presidential Committee of Experts on Inter Professional Relationships in the Public Health Sector to check the drift in our health care delivery system. This committee comprising distinguished and accomplished Nigerians including health and non health professionals is expected to look into all the issues mitigating against cohesion and cohesiveness in the health sector and come up with objective and practical solutions.
“I am confident that given the worthy antecedents of the men and women whom we have selected to constitute this committee, they will make a success of this national assignment. The key thing is how our various health practitioners from the medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses, laboratory technologists and the scientists and including the administrators, accountants will work together to make sure that the health service delivery in the country is not threatened”.
President Jonathan charge members to work hard to justify the confidence invested in them by bringing all their worthy attributes to bear on this assignment. “We believe in you and we believe you will help this country”.
The committee which has eight weeks to summit it’s report has the following terms of reference, “to review the current roles of various professional careers in the health sector and recommend measures to remove areas of conflict; to review extant laws governing various health professionals and recommend appropriate ammendments where necessary; and to review the draft report of the committee set up by the minister of health on harmonious working relationships among public health workers with the view to adopting suitable recommendations there-from.
Others are to advise government on appropriate measures to promote harmonious relationship among public health workers; and to consider and make any other recommendations that maybe incidental on the foregoing terms of reference which may assist government to promote industrial harmony in the public health sector.
In his response, Yayale Ahmed thanked President Jonathan for the opportunity given them to serve the country, says the setting up of the committee has demonstrated the administration’s commitment to see that the health sector is permanently brought back on course.
“You have given us the opportunity to look into the experiences of the past and the antecedents leading to the appointment of this committee and we shall not fail because we are determined to succeed.
“It is one of the cardinal principles of this administration to see that the health sector is permanently brought back on course. One would remember the time when doctors, nurses, pharmacists all spoke with one voice, but because of career progression and wanting to always head positions for reasons other than professionalism things became haywire.
“We would not be selfish and we would not take sides, we will with all the tenets given to the members of the committee bring out a solution. By the time we present our report Your Excellency we hope that this pimple who refused to disappear from the face of the beautiful lady(which is the health sector) will be a thing of the past, because all these acrimony will disappear”