BHCPF: After CrossRiverWatch Investigation, Cross River Health Agency To Sanction Erring Staff, Distribute Laptops

In Breaking News, Health, Investigation

By Ogar Monday

The Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency has revealed that it has set up a disciplinary panel to investigate and punish health workers who are found to not be at their duty post and those who charge more than the prescribed amount for deliveries within facilities.

The Director-General of the Agency, Dr. Janet Ekpenyong made this known at a meeting with Ward Focal Persons (WFP) in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, where laptops for the “operation of the scheme” were distributed to some of the facilities.

The meeting is coming weeks after the CrossRiverWatch investigation revealed how Cross River PHC DG and her husband fleeced Basic Health Care Provision Fund. It showed how staff in some facilities in Odukpani and Obudu were charging pregnant women way above the stipulated  N3,000 for pregnant women.

President Muhammadu Buhari has also directed the Federal Ministry of Health to track the utilization of the fund. The directive appears to be the president’s reaction to over a dozen reports The ICIR has been publishing on the fund’s management across the country in the past weeks.

Frowning Dr. Ekpenyong said: “We have seen the report that some health workers in some facilities have been overcharging pregnant women and others who visit the facilities. And usually, you are supposed to charge just N3,000 to purchase consumables if the person does not come with those things to the facilities.

“We heard stories of some health workers charging as high as N10,000 for clients who visit the facility, and for us, we frown at such and that would discourage people. We are looking for ways to encourage pregnant women to patronize health facilities rather than go to Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs),” adding that “a team has been set up, headed by the Permanent Secretary who is looking into that.”

Ward Focal Persons in the meeting held at PHC Ediba Road, Calabar Municipality.

On the laptops, the DG said it is meant to “help strengthen ICT services, electronic medical records, in terms of enrolment of clients and other things” and that such meeting also affords the Agency an opportunity to feel the heart of the centers, and that it took this long to distribute the laptops because the health insurance agency was still installing “the client management software.”

Earlier speaking, Dr. Godwin Iyala, the Director-General of the Cross River State Health Insurance Agency popularly called AyadeCare said the Agency will not tolerate laxity, revealing that the Agency is now a client to the facilities, adding that facilities that are caught wanting will not get their capitation.

Dr. Godwin Iyala, the Director-General of the Cross River State Health Insurance Agency popularly called AyadeCare presenting laptop to a Ward Focal Person.

He added that “the laptops, which have been configured, are for record-keeping and transfer of information for the scheme in the PHCs.

“Every month, the PHCs will be paid based on the number of enrollees they have, after proper monitoring and evaluation by third-party administrators that will go round the facilities from time to time.”

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