NMA decries dearth of medical personnel in Ogun

Doctors removing 40 knives from man. PHOTO: CNN.

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Ogun State chapter, has decried the dearth of medical personnel in the state public hospitals.

Addressing a newsmen conference over the weekend was the state chairman of the association, Dr. Abayomi Olajide, at the NMA House, Abeokuta, who stated that the current administration in the state, in the last five years, had not employed medical personnel in any of its hospital, to cater for shortage of manpower.

Olajide with other executive members explained that the number of medical doctors across the state was just about 200, while a single federal hospital had over 230 doctors in its employ.

He said that the development had adversely affected quality healthcare delivery in the state, saying “there is gross shortage of manpower in the health sector – doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other allied professionals.

“This current administration has not employed doctors, nurses since inception and even the ones that have left the service by way of resignation, death or retirement are yet to be replaced.

“There are less than 30 consultant/specialist doctors in the employ of Ogun State Ministry of Health/Hospital Management Board.

“To our greatest dismay, there are less than 200 doctors for the whole state including LGA/LCDA when a single Federal Hospital FMC Abeokuta has 60 consultants and about 230 doctors in her employ. This statistics also affect the allied health professionals in your state – pharmacists, nurses. This shows a disproportionate distribution of the workforce thus impacting negatively on the service delivery in the state.”

The association also lamented poor state health facilities in the state, healthcare equipment, saying that government should give more attention to the health sector, the same way road construction is receiving attention.

“Ogun State with a population of about four million people has 40 government owned institutions spread across the state geopolitical zones apart from the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu.

“There are five state hospitals, 25 general Hospitals, two Hansen’s Centres, five dental centres and four community mental hospitals. In nearly all these institutions, there are abysmally poor infrastructures (relevant healthcare equipment) for the delivery of qualitative care.

“Some of the buildings are not only old but dilapidated and need urgent government attention. There is no good road network to some of the hospitals thus making it difficult to assess qualitative health care. For example, to get a pregnant woman in labour to General Hospital, Iberekodo is like taking the donkey through the eye of the needle.

“Adequate water supply and electricity coverage still remain a mirage in most of the government hospitals,” the NMA chairman added.

The body commended the state government for the success of the Araya scheme to improve the health of the citizenry and urged government to build on it.