THE Southeast Caucus of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has called for improved healthcare infrastructure in the South-East region.
They decried the deplorable condition of state-owned hospitals in the region and its degenerative effect on healthcare delivery.
Dr Chikezie Obasi, the Leader of the caucus, made this known at a news conference at the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, on Sunday.
Obasi said that the decline in the quality of healthcare services rendered by state-owned university teaching hospitals with the poor welfare of healthcare workers was a cause for concern.
According to him, the current situation has led to the continued resignation of many doctors and health workers, as well as jeopardising the vital training of undergraduate and postgraduate doctors.
He said that adequate infrastructure, staff strength and prompt payment of salaries were vital in ensuring that a health institution would function efficiently.
Obasi said that the inability of the state governments in the region to tackle the problem of poor infrastructure and welfare of health workers was detrimental to the achievement of efficient and quality healthcare services.
He said that the provision of healthcare should not be viewed as a profit-making venture but as the right of the citizens and the fundamental duty of the state governments.
“We request that Abia Government effect immediate payment of the outstanding 13 months salary owed our members and ensure timely payment of salaries.
“And necessary renovation as well as upgrade of facilities at ABSUTH Aba to bring back the lost glory of the institution.
“We support ongoing industrial action at IMSUTH and urge Imo Government to quickly implement the agreement reached with our members to restore normalcy.
“We urge the Anambra Government to urgently implement the promises made to our members in Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital to avert industrial action,” Obasi said.
He called for the complete implementation of full consolidated medical salary structure for resident doctors in Enugu State University Teaching Hospital.
Obasi also urged the board of the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, to commence full regularisation and proper remuneration of recently reinstated resident doctors in the hospital.
Besides, he appealed to the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to initiate and actively implement programmes that would boost the provision of good quality healthcare services in the 36 states of the federation.
Obasi expressed dismay over the numerous cases of the kidnap of doctors and called on relevant agencies to expedite action in promoting the security and safety of doctors.