The non-payment of 14 months’ of salary arrears to medical doctors in the Akwa Ibom State Civil Service may draw the ire of members of the Akwa Ibom Nigerian Medical Association.
In an interview with Straight News reporter at NMA House, Uyo, the Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Akwa Ibom State Branch, Dr. Aniekeme Uwah, said this was one of the numerous challenges still hindering the smooth health-care delivery system in the state.
Dr. Uwah, who said doctors employed into the Akwa Ibom State Civil Service in September 2014 have not yet been paid salaries, also decried the non-payment of six-month arrears of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) to its members in government employ and the non-payment of subvention to health facilities in the state.
He assured that, “When a few of the challenges are addressed by the state government, it will go along a way in boosting the moral of our member and therefore put them in the right frame of mind and psyche to continue to render quality health care services”.
Uwah expressed appreciation to his colleagues, whom he acknowledged, have continued to render quality medical services despite the difficult working environment most of them find themselves.
The Chairman, however, commended the state government for being proactive through the provision of N600 million in the 2017 budget for the take-off of the State Health Insurance Scheme Agency.
On the theme of this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), he noted “The role of Primary Health Care (PHC) and Health Insurance in ensuring sustainable development in Akwa Ibom State. It is apt, considering the health challenges in the state.
This theme was carefully selected to key into the industrialization policy of the present administration in the state. The fact that, only the healthy workforce can drive a sustainable industrialization process cannot be overemphasized.”
He pointed out “To maintain a healthy population, there is greater needs for the bills for the establishment of Akwa Ibom State Primary Health Care Development Agency (AKSPHCDA) and Akwa Ibom State Health Insurance Scheme Agency (AKSHISA), recently passed into law by Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to be assent to by Governor Udom Emmanuel.”