Lagos To Punish Lazy Health Workers

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Any health worker found to be lackadaisical or complacent in the discharge of his or her duty will henceforth be made to face the full wrath of the law to serve as deterrent to others, says the Lagos State Government.

Disclosing this at a parley with medical directors and hospital administrators, Chairman, Lagos State Health Service Commission, Dr. Olawunmi Salako, said penalty would also be meted out to senior medical officers, including consultants, principal medical officers, chief medical officers, Head of Departments in hospital units, especially those that were in the habit of absenting themselves from duty when they were supposed to be on “call duty.”

“The state government will no longer tolerate a situation where senior medical officers, especially consultants will not be found on duty during call duty and will equally not be reached on phone during emergency in the night,” Salako warned at the meeting held at the conference room of the agency in Lagos, South West Nigeria.

“Issues of complacency and negative attitude that had over time cast aspersion on the efforts of government had become worrisome and the commission is henceforth putting into practice all lay down punitive measures by the government on those found liable and culpable in the line of duty,” he added.

According to Salako, the duty of saving lives is not only paramount and crucial to the state government, but it is the core cardinal programme, where an enormous sum of the state’s yearly budget was being expended.

He pointed out that residents of the state deserved the best in terms of health anytime they visited hospital units for medical attention.

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Permanent Secretary in the Commission, Dr. Rafiat Olatunji, said hospital units should be made functioning at all time, pointing out that even dental departments where officers usually keep their offices closed anytime from 2 p.m. would no longer be tolerated as an emergency could occur anytime. “Any allied medical practitioner not on duty during call duty, especially the consultants would automatically lose their call duty allowance or be made to give way for the employment of serious­­-minded citizens who are ready to give their best at all time.

“Medical officers irrespective of grade levels not interested in call duty can opt out and forget their call duty allowances. The state government cannot be paying for services not rendered.”

He appealed to health workers to embrace positive attitudes towards patients and relatives once they are within the hospital environment.

The permanent secretary enjoined those on calls, especially the consultants, to keep the line of communication open throughout their call period, even after leaving the hospital after 10.p.m. in case of emergency.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga

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