Uba Sani’s love for welfare and Kaduna’s health sector
By Nasir Dambatta
The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives has reported there is now a ratio of one nurse to 1,160 patients. That is as recently as 14th Aug 2023. What this tells me is that the workers in the health sector of the country as a whole and Kaduna State in particular are working extra hard in the delivery of services to patients.
The tasking job of healthcare delivery falls not just on nurses but core professionals who drive the sector, notably Resident Doctors. The environment where Nigerian Resident Doctors operate is understandably full of tough odds, from existing national health policies to the dearth of important infrastructure and equipments required for modern healthcare services. This worrisome scenario became amplified by Resident Doctors renumeration issues in Kaduna State, for instance. And this been going on with high velocity, for many years, until the year 2014 – when the Kaduna State Government made deft moves towards a solution of the welfare issues. Some said Kaduna was the first to take such an important welfare step in favor of the Resident Doctors practicing in the State.
History was also made very recently, when Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State approved the full implementation of the 2014 Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS) for the Association of Resident Doctors working under the Kaduna State Ministry of Health.
The cheering news, which came to light on Sunday, 3rd September 2023, expectedly gladdened the hearts of stakeholders in the sector. Even some politicians in the opposition camp were said to hailed the welfarist variant of Governor Uba Sani’s approach to governance.
Though the governor used the opportunity to address a wide range of issues across different sectors, stakeholders in healthcare delivery realm rejoiced.
Commentators on health-related challenges also thumbed up the administration’s financial commitment as a stepping stone to improving the lot of these respected health services officials in the State.
How did it all began? Some would ask, some nine years afterwards.
It all stemmed from the recommendations of a committee led by the Kaduna State, Head of Service(HoS) , emanating from negotiations between the HoS and striking doctors in August 2023. The outcome of that robust engagement was that resident doctors in the Kaduna State Ministry of Health received 75% of the 2014 CONMESS, while their counterparts working at Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital receive 100% of CONMESS.
Hear Governor Uba Sani: “Consequently, commencing from September 2023, the approved 100% CONMESS will bring Resident Doctors in the Ministry of Health at parity with their counterparts at Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital. This step, the Governor added, will further boost productivity and attract more doctors to the state.”
The cheering news did not end there. The Governor also declared that approval had been granted for the continuation of the recruitment of 89 medical doctors to address the staffing gap identified in 2017, as recommended by the committee.
“This initiative amongst others was designed to enhance doctors’ morale and improve access to quality healthcare for Kaduna residents”, the excited governor said.
Going a notch further in revealing the niceties packaged for the sector, Senator Sani noted: “You will recall that we recently flagged off the distribution of advanced medical equipment to our upgraded 290 primary healthcare centers. This reflects our administration’s commitment to ensuring that every citizen/resident has access to a primary health care center within a kilometer of their residence”.
An elated Governor Uba Sani also made heartwarming disclosures about interactions with development partners, adding that the increase in the number investors attracted to Kaduna was due to the business-friendly environment created by his administration. At any rate, this is topic for another. But it is unmistakable that Governor Uba Sani’s package of Resident Doctors in Kaduna State is in tune with his ‘SUSTAIN Manifesto’, the plank upon which he campaigned for governorship and won.
For now, it is heartwarming that the health sector in Kaduna State has begun feeling the positive impact of yet another Governor with their welfare at heart.