Edo State Government and doctors in the state under umbrella of Nigeria Medical Association have reached a deal on matters affecting the doctors’ conditions of service and improving infrastructure in the health sector in the state.
The doctors had gone on a strike, last year, to press home their demands for employment into various cadres in the health management board, improvement in the infrastructure in hospitals and health centres across the state and full implementation of the doctors Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS)
Speaking after a meeting with the doctors, Friday, where the issues were on the agenda, Governor Adams Oshiomhole told reporters: “I just finished a meeting with the doctors, and what was discussed was about the entire healthcare delivery chain including primary healthcare centre and the fact that we have carried out a comprehensive survey to establish precisely where have health centres, hospitals, and how many doctors, nurses, we need and now we have all those figures with us and the challenge is finding the money to employ all the hands that we need.
“We are convinced that there is no point opening a hospital without a doctor, because the building as a will not treat anybody. It is the doctor inside the building. If we have all the equipment and the human beings are missing, then we have a problem.”
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Aihanuwa Eregie, who threw more light the talks with the doctors said “We just concluded a meeting between the Edo State Government chaired by Mr Governor himself and those at the meeting were members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and under that we have the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, HMB Branch, Association of Resident Doctors, HMB Branch and then the Joint Action Committee members comprising other workers within the health sector.
“The main issues discussed were the issues of the shortfall in the salaries structure, that is CONMESS and CONHESS; we also discussed the issues of promotion, the issues of sorting out infrastructure within the health sector and then staff motivation. The meeting ended on a positive note with the workers being satisfied, it was quite cordial and we are looking forward to working in a more cordial, more friendly health sector consequently.”
The NMA Chairman, Dr Emmanuel Ighodaro on his part said: “I want to say today has been a happy day in the health sector in Edo State, reason being that, you will recall in the last two months, issues concerning health has been very turbulent and stakeholders in healthcare in Edo, Nurses, Doctors and all that have been agitating, but today, there was a landmark achievement.
“We agree quite honestly that the issues concerning health cannot be solved in one day, but all we are clamoured for was that the right step to be taken. Today, the right step has been taken and all other ancillary issues were also addressed. As we speak, government has said even now, we must do something and we are very grateful to them. We are saying the people should keep faith with us and keep faith with the government.”