Striking workers in Nigeria’s federal government owned hospitals under the aegis of Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, have accused the chief executive officers of Federal Medical Centres, FMCs and other tertiary hospitals of recruiting ‘quacks and charlatans’ to work in the healthcare facilities under their control in their absence.
Raising the alarm, JOHESU spokesperson, Dr. Godswill Okara, urged the Department of State Services, DSS, to investigate the management of all tertiary hospitals with the aim of unraveling alleged corrupt practices, criminal acts, and atrocities of the chief executives.
He said the union was raising the alarm to stop the ‘jeopardy’ being meted to members of the public by the unqualified personnel being recruited to work in their absence from duty.
The JOHESU spokesperson said: “We are further worried and therefore we want to warn members of the public to be wary of seeking healthcare services in all the tertiary health institutions in the country while the strike lasts. This is because, in compliance with the obnoxious circular, chief executives of these health institutions have now gone ahead to recruit charlatans and quacks who are mainly their cronies and relatives to hold out as healthcare professionals attending to patients in these hospitals.
“As we speak to you now we have discovered such cases in some FMCs including in the FCT and Owerri where these quacks are now holding sway and maiming patients in the process. In one instance, an HIV negative patient has been issued with a positive result.
“And we have also been reliably informed that one Medical Director, in violation of extant rules on Public Private Partnership (PPP), brought into the hospital premises his relations to help him divert patients to his private hospital and equally stationed some other quacks to help him take patients’ specimens to questionable places for analyses.
While claiming that some patients were being issued doubtful liver and renal function tests, the JOHESU spokesperson further said, ‘We urge the DSS to beam its investigative searchlights on all the tertiary hospitals where JOHESU members are currently on strike with a view to unraveling more of these corrupt practices, criminal acts and atrocities.
“In the same vein, it has become very imperative for us as professional associations to warn our members, especially the interns and corpers in these hospitals, to ensure that they do not work without the requisite supervision by the appropriate professionals as the consequence of doing so may be incalculable.
“Furthermore, our members across the country are urged to resist the temptation and lure by our detractors to take up any form of employment, locum or otherwise. Those found culpable shall be severely dealt with in accordance with the statutory provisions of our various professional bodies.
“Notwithstanding the draconian directives by the Federal Ministry of Health, FMoH, we are quick to say that our members will not be cowed by the threat to introduce attendance register and enforce ‘no-work-no-pay’ rule as neither the FMoH nor Dr. Amedu is the right authority to invoke that section of the law.”
The union had last week gone on strike over the government’s failure to fulfill agreement it signed with the union since September last year.