By Martha Agas
Jos, Jan 11,2021 Prof. Innocent Ujah, President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA),has commended Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau for completing the hospital projects he inherited by his predecessors.
Ujah, who made the commendation during a courtesy visit to the governor on Monday at the Government House, Jos, also lauded him for the establishment of the state Health Insurance Scheme.
“On behalf of the National Officers’ Committee (NOC) of Nigerian Medical Association, I wish to congratulate you on the tremendous efforts toward improving the health indices in Plateau.
“These include the completion of all inherited health projects such as the Trauma Centre, Riyom, General Hospitals in Kwall, Kanke, and Mabudi in Langtang South, ” he said
He also commended Lalong for the ongoing construction of six new General Hospitals across the three Senatorial districts of the state and the employment of 40 doctors, saying this would facilitate access to quality health care services.
The president said that the upgrading of all existing secondary facilities by the administration would facilitate a more conducive environment for patients and healthcare workers,while improving the standard and quality of care.
He, then, thanked the governor for the Implementation of the Consolidated Salary Structure (CONMESS) and Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for Medical Doctors and other Healthcare workers in the state and the payment of outstanding salary arrears to Doctors and other Civil Servants.
He also lauded him for:”the procurement of computers and other accessories for all secondary facilities as well as adoption of Electronic Health Information System for these facilities;
“The establishment of Plateau State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (PLASCHEMA) again with our member appointed as the Pioneer Director-General, and;
“Signing into law, the Bill establishing Plateau State Specialist Hospital (PSSH)is commendable”.
Ujah commended the governor for his collaboration with the private sector and faith-Based Organisations for the acquisition of Abbot Automated Blood Screening Machine for Plateau State Specialist Hospital and the upgrading of its Intensive Care Unit.
Ujah also noted that the setting up of the three COVID-19 testing centres and mass free testing for residents was a laudable commitement to control the pandemic.
He requested that NMA be carried along on any policy decision that involved the health and wellbeing of Nigerians for optimal results.
He said the use of doctor stamps would authenticate all medical reports and reduce the number of quacks in the health industry.
“Your pronunciation that all medical reports must be authenticated by the affixing of Doctors Stamp will go a long way in reducing quackery in Plateau,” he said.
He said the association was in need of assistance in developing the N8 billion Doctors’ House in Abuja, which was expected to house the World Medical Association (WMA) Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA).
Ujah appealed to the governor for the approval of the full implementation of CONMESS in Plateau and his support for the construction of a modest permanent secretariat building for NMA in the state.
He also urged for a review in the tax levied on Doctors, saying it was too high while calling for employment of more doctors in the state.
The NMA boss announced that Plateau was hosting the union’s conference in April and appealed to the governor for support to ensure the success of the event.
Responding, Lalong promised to employ more doctors, train health workers and establish a teaching hospital for the medical school of the Plateau State University, saying his administration had placed premium on the health sector because of its importance.
He also said the State Government would establish an oxygen plant in conjunction with the Federal Government , as part of efforts to control the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor said the state government would contribute N10 million to assist in the construction of the Doctors House in Abuja, and urged investors to partner with his administration in making Plateau a destination for medical tourism.