The Bayelsa State Government has confirmed that it will localize the employment of primary health care workers as part of measures to address the challenges hampering the sector.
The state’s deputy governor, Senator Lawrence Iohrudjaku, gave the confirmation Thursday, September 15, at a one-day workshop on the state of primary health care services in the state, organized by the state government, at the Harold Daba Berry Convention Center in Yanagua. .
Senator Lawrence Iohrudjaku stressed that the government will first consider those who have been volunteer primary health care providers and reside in the various communities in the recruitment exercise that is about to take off.
The Deputy Governor, in a statement made by his Senior Special Assistant for Information Affairs, Mr. Dobara Atassi, expressed optimism that the measure would help check absenteeism as well as improve service delivery in the health sector.
He stressed that the era of attaching feelings to official duties is over, noting that primary health care workers who are used to being absent from work will be dealt with decisively.
So Senator Euhrodjakpo directed all department heads in the state primary health care board to live up to their responsibilities and be effective in addressing truancy by their health center staff.
His words: “We will review what you have done. We will be strict, both mobilizers and health workers must come from their own communities and they must be residents of those communities, otherwise we repeat ourselves in a cycle of complicity.”
“More than 80% of our health workers are here in Yanagoa, the state capital, therefore, from now on, we will localize this business. If nurses and pharmacists are to be employed, they must be residing in that community, and the first criterion is where you live. ?
“VDC and WDC should recommend that you reside here before we contact you because if it does, no one will be able to kidnap you and that is the way to go.
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“I also think our health workers need to change and when it comes to political interference, count me. Go and ask what I did for my cousin.
I recently directed that one of my cousins’ salary be withheld for three months along with those who work at the health center in my community, Ovoni. Look, leadership based on feelings and emotions is not leadership.
“So I advise everyone. HODs take responsibility. This idea of passing on responsibility and ineffective leadership is unacceptable. We must take responsibility, not just assets.”
According to Senator Ewhrudjakpo, the workshop was organized to encourage community ownership of healthcare facilities located in their areas as well as tasking the State Local Government Services Commission and Primary Health Care Board to perform their supervisory roles more effectively.
He noted that although funding was the sole responsibility of the local government system, the state government will continue to play its role in mobilizing resources and oversight to ensure that the goals set in health care delivery are achieved.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babara Newton Igwele thanked the Bayelsa State Government for organizing the workshop to address the multifaceted challenges in the health sector, which he says are extremely important.
He called on all stakeholders to provide useful contributions that would guide the government to draw up an effective and needs-based policy framework for the reintroduction of primary health care services.
The highlight of the workshop was the presentation of the state of human resources for health in various local districts by key experts of the Bayelsa State Task Force on Immunization.
The ceremony was attended by a wide range of stakeholders including members of the Bayelsa State Council, State Executive Council, Chiefs of Local Government Areas, traditional rulers, directors of the state hospital board, and association representatives from government and private medical associations in Nigeria.
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