Obudu Strange Doctors Saga: We’ll Follow Due Process In Punishing Erring Staff – Betta Edu, DG CRSPHCDA

In Breaking News, Health, Interviews, National News, News, Politics, Reports

By Jonathan Ugbal

Dr. Betta Edu, DG Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency, CRSPHCDA
Dr. Betta Edu, DG Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency, CRSPHCDA

The Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency says no stone will be left unturned to ensure that the agency corrects the impression that has been made over the Ohong unknown doctor’s incident and prevent future re-occurrence.

Betta disclosed these in a social media chat with CrossRiverWatch where she lamented situations where Primary Healthcare staff go against the ethics of the profession, laid down rules and guidelines for selfish reasons but quickly added that good and upright staff where still in the majority. She also added that the situation was already been handled by the relevant authorities and steps been taken to prevent a re-occurrence.

“It is very disturbing to have illegal and unethical activities take place in Government Facilities. These activities should not go unchecked. Some unwholesome acts are perpetrated by some health workers.

“We have heard in several town hall meetings and seen on supervision tours where Primary Healthcare workers sell Paracetamol for 5,000 Naira, invite unknown persons to carry out surgeries in their centers so they can make money while putting people’s lives on the line. Some undertake procedures far above their skills, some abandon their facilities for days in the name of training by partners or the go for their private businesses.

“Asides these few bad eggs there are lots more sacrificing daily for the communities they serve. Putting extra hours, going for house visitations, community mobilization, etc. to ensure that things work well in their facilities and they can deliver quality health care to their communities.”

On the role the agency plays in such incidents, she said “The CRSPHCDA was created to coordinate all Primary Healthcare activities in the state and to put a stop to most of this unethical and illegal activities going on.

“However, the agency is a new one and is still in the process of moving staff from the (Unified) Local Government System to the agency. Primary Healthcare workers are core to the functionality of the PHC system.

“We can renovate and refurbish all our PHC facilities. But unless we have dedicated PHC workers who will shun all this vices and stick with the rules of service then we cannot accomplish much.”

Speaking further on the fate of the Ohong people and the alleged fake doctors, Betta said “For the sad paid surgical event taking place at Ohong Primary Health Centre in Obudu, the board members of the CRSPHCDA whose statutory duty by law is to discipline (erring) PHC workers according to the civil service rules, have invited the (officer) in-charge of that facility to report to Calabar and explain what is going on in that facility to the board. Thereafter, appropriate measure will be taken.

“Furthermore, the Agency will issue a circular prohibiting the use of PHC facilities for any activity outside the routine PHC services, without written permission/ clearance from the agency.

“Finally, we are working on an e-control method using ICT which will help with monitoring of all our PHC facilities in addition to the monthly intermittent supportive supervision by the team. For the Quack doctors operating patients on the bare floor, the police is already on the case. The chairman of Obudu, supervisor for health in Obudu local government area and the PHC coordinator are giving on-the-ground supervision to see that they face the weight of the law to serve as deterrent to others perpetrating such unethical acts in CRS.”

It will be recalled that CrossRiverWatch had exclusively reported that unknown doctors were using a primary healthcare facility in Ohong village of Obudu local government area of northern Cross River State to render medical services with the elders and youths of the village impeding officers of the Nigeria Police Force from arresting the doctors.

The community and the nurse in charge of the facility, one Gertrude Ayendi, were fingered as the facilitators of the doctor’s presence in the village which is the third incidence of such nature reported by CrossRiverWatch in less than a year in Obudu.

As at press time, it was still unclear whether the doctors are still operating in the community or have shut up shop.

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