Resident Doctor Seeks Probe Of Federal Hospitals
MEDICAL doctors under the aegis of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have called on the Federal Government to immediately institute a forensic audit of personnel in the federal tertiary hospitals “in order to establish the true spending on personnel and plug all leakages.” NARD President, Dr Prince Dan-Jumbo, who made the appeal during a press conference organised by NARD in Lagos recently, added that such audit would assist the federal government’s reinvestment on manpower and infrastructural development in the health sector. Dan-Jumbo regretted that the forensic audit has become necessary, as some Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) are presiding under the culture of impunity on personnel spending.
The NARD President specifically noted that some hospitals are disregarding government’s directive on key issues concerning NARD welfare, a situation which he said has been responsible for some pockets of strikes by resident doctors in various hospitals across the federation. He added that unless government’s directives are adhered to squarely by the various CMDs, federal hospitals might continue to grapple with strikes.
“We once again appeal to these CMDs/ medical directors, notably Prof. Temitope Alonge of the University College Hospital, Ibadan; Prof Chris Bode of the Lagos University Teaching (LUTH); Prof M.O Ibadin of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) amongst others, to desist from their gross disregard of the Federal Government directive in the interest of the Nigerian public who are the direct victims of their high-handedness,” the NARD President said. He however urged NARD local bodies that are on strike “to immediately engage their various hospital management with the circular (referenced C2262/T/111) dated July 29, 2015 with a view to restoring services as soon as the managements commence implementation of the directive.”
On the reason for the probe, Dan-Jumbo said: “We are in an era where the mantra is change, the culture of impunity can no longer be tolerated. I am making this clear because on assumption of office, I took about four days to compare the 2014 and 2015 appropriation budget for federal hospitals. “It was clear that the personnel cost of these institutions was so bogus and highly inflated which was coming from an era of impunity to the era of change. That is why NARD had made it clear to our members at various institutions to engage constructively with the management to ensure that the issues affecting them are resolved amicably.
“Our parent body, Nigerian Medical Association, had directed that these institutions which claim they don’t have the financial backing to commence payment to open their records for forensic personnel audit. “During the past administration, NARD wrote to the Ministry of Finance as a matter of urgency to institute a forensic audit, but we were rebuffed by the Federal Ministry of Health to go home and face our studies. But we cannot continue an era whereby people that have been given the mandate to manage the institutions then turn around to run them as private businesses when Nigerians are in dire need of health care.
“As doctors and stakeholders in the sector who are willing to render service, we cannot fold our hands and watch innocent Nigerians die over the greed and selfish interest of management of these institutions. That is why we are calling on our members to engage with these institutions so as to know their true financial strength and not to ask for any bail out.”