MEDICAL doctors in Osun State under the aegis of Osun State Association of Medical and Dental Officers (OSAMDO) have appealed to the state governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, to improve on the health care delivery system in the state.
The doctors said the health infrastructures in the state were decaying terribly and expressed worry that the governor has not pay attention to the health sector in the state, exposing the lives of the downtrodden masses to serious danger.
According to the statement, “Investments have been misdirected at capital projects that have benefitted only contractors and not the patients that come to these hospitals. Basic equipment for diagnosis and treatment has remained obsolete and indeed largely unavailable.
“What sets a hospital apart from a hotel is the equipment in place and the quality of man power. It is these two that have been grossly neglected in the state! None of the State Hospitals has facilities for oxygen delivery in the emergency units, let alone defibrillators, which are mere complements of a standard ambulance.”
“It has gotten so bad that methylated spirits, antiseptic lotions and syringes have become very rare commodities in our hospitals! This though should not be surprising as 2013 was the last time the state government stocked the hospitals with essential drugs.
OSAMDO also lamented that Doctors and nurses and other health workers are grossly inadequate in the hospitals in the state and that the situation was getting worse.
“As we speak, there are far less than a hundred doctors employed in the state civil service to take care of the over four million population of the state. These few doctors are spread over some 56 secondary health facilities. The implication is that many of these facilities do not have one doctor in the least!
“The state hospitals are however expected to have not less than 30 doctors each to function optimally. Many of these facilities cannot run round the clock because they do not have the required complement of staff to do so. How then can people get the kind of care they deserve from such a system?”
OSAMDO also frowned that the efforts being put in by the very few doctors and other health workers in the state were not appreciated by the government. The doctor lamented that Governor Aregbesola failed to cater for their welfare by refusing to pay their salaries.
“Against all known labour laws and without consulting the Nigeria Medical Association in the state or other body of doctors, the state government began to mutilate the wages of our members by paying them 50 per cent or less of their wages,” OSAMDO said.
OSAMDO explained that doctors in the employment of Osun State government were receiving the salary that is a quarter of salary of their colleagues working at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals (OAUTHC) in Ile-Ife as the government refused to pay the revised consolidated salary scale for Medical Officers (CONMESS) approved since 2014.
“This demoralising situation has been on for the last two years, and we continue to say this is unfair, unjust and not right! There is no way doctors who have been forced into financial embarrassment by the State government can be in a good frame of mental, social and psychological well-being to solve the health problems of good people of the State.”
The doctors said they have continually communicated their concerns to the governor but they were yet to get a favourable response. OSAMDO said it has become imperative for the body to reawaken the consciousness of the people of the State to the unaddressed challenges that have continued to bedevil healthcare delivery to the people of the State.