By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – Members of the Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, Monday, accused Chief Executives (CEOs) of tertiary health institutions in the country of recruiting charlatans and quacks to hold out as healthcare professionals attending to patients in their hospitals.
The health workers, at a press conference in Abuja, said they were raising the alarm in order to stop the alleged jeopardy meted on the lives of healthcare-seeking members of the public by those recruited to fill the vacuum created by their absence.
Vanguard reports that the unionists had been on strike since last Wednesday over failure of the government to meet the agreement it had with them last September.
Speaking on behalf of the striking workers, Dr. Godswill Okara, urged the Department of State Security, DSS, to beam its investigative searchlights on all the tertiary hospitals where JOHESU members are currently on strike “with a view to unraveling more of these corrupt practices, criminal acts and atrocities.”
According to him, “We are further worried and therefore we want to warn members of the public to be wary of seeking healthcare services in all the tertiary health institutions in the country while the strike lasts. This is because, in compliance with the obnoxious circular, chief executives of these health institutions have now gone ahead to recruit charlatans and quacks who are mainly their cronies and relatives to hold out as healthcare professionals attending to patients in these hospitals.
“As we speak to you now we have discovered such cases in some FMCs including in the FCT and Owerri where these quacks are now holding sway and maiming patients in the process. In one instance, an HIV negative patient has been issued with a positive result.
“And we have also been reliably informed that one Medical Director, in violation of extant rules on Public Private Partnership (PPP), brought into the hospital premises his relations to help him divert patients to his private hospital and equally stationed some other quacks to help him take patients’ specimens to questionable places for analyses.
“Some patients are now being issued with very doubtful Liver and Renal Function test results. No thanks to the promotion of quackery by the FMoH in these institutions to the detriment of the members of the public.
“We urge the DSS to beam its investigative searchlights on all the tertiary hospitals where JOHESU members are currently on strike with a view to unraveling more of these corrupt practices, criminal acts and atrocities.
“In the same vein, it has become very imperative for us as professional associations to warn our members, especially the interns and corpers in these hospitals to ensure that they do not work without the requisite supervision by the appropriate professionals as the consequence of doing so may be incalculable.
“Furthermore, our members across the country are urged to resist the temptation and lure by our detractors to take up any form of employment, locum or otherwise. Those found culpable shall be severely dealt with in accordance with the statutory provisions of our various professional bodies.
“Notwithstanding the draconian directives by the Federal Ministry of Health, FMoH, we are quick to say that our members will not be cowed by the FMoH’s threat to introduce attendance register and enforce ‘no-work-no-pay’ rule as neither the FMoH nor Dr Amedu is the right authority to invoke that section of the law.”