Health Workers Lament Poor Pay, Overwork in State Hospitals
Despite an acute shortage of medical workers in state hospitals, many state governments have not been employing doctors and nurses.
The PUNCH’s investigations has shown that in spite of a shortage of medical workers, a few of doctors and nurses in state hospitals are leaving for other countries and federal health institutions because of poor pay.
The few doctors and nurses in these public hospitals are being overworked, thus exposing some of them to stress-induced deaths.
In some hospitals in Akwa Ibom, Osun, Edo, Cross River, Oyo, Gombe, Kwara and other states visited by our correspondents, there were no doctors while some others, particularly those in state capitals had between one and six doctors.
The National President of the NMA, Dr Francis Faduyile, corroborated the findings of The PUNCH and attributed the shortage of personnel to the failure of state government to open secondary health care centres, employ more doctors and pay them living wage.
Doctors, nurses slumped and died because of overwork
The NMA president stated that efforts to engage state governments on the plight of doctors had not succeeded.
He said, “It is important for us to state that the important thing we need the state governments to do is to open up their facilities so that they can employ doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals to complement the work of the Federal Government.”
Lamenting the plight of the NMA members, Faduyile stated, “Within this year, we have had cases in which doctors had overworked themselves slumped and died while at work. Some of them have done surgery for many patients and they get so exhausted and passed out.
“We have a case in Benin about three to four months ago. These are signs of the intense stress on the doctors. Doctors who are seen in this case are liable to leave if they get a better opportunity. Many of them are groaning under the intense hardship and we can just plead with the government to do the necessary thing.”
Some C’River hospitals don’t have a single doctor – NMA
In Cross River State, it was learnt that the General Hospital in Calabar, was in dire need of medical personnel, especially doctors and nurses.
A nurse, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “We have only four medical doctors in this hospital. There is a dearth of medical personnel due to retirement and other factors such as migration to other countries for better paying jobs.
“The embargo placed on employment by the state government is not helping matters. As I said, a lack of doctors and nurses is the bane of the hospital.”