There is pandemonium among recently recruited health workers in Kogi State as their appointments have now been reversed by the State Government.
Newsmen gathered that the State Specialist Hospital suffered the major hit as 25 nurses who receive appointment letters from the State Government had theirs reversed.
An investigation conducted by newsmen revealed that the nurses were stopped from resuming work by the management of the health institution.
The new recruits were scheduled to resume work this week but left confused when they were turned back. At the moment, their employment status is unknown.
A source who craved anonymity told newsmen that the management took the decision due to lack of funds.
” I can tell you authoritatively that appointment letter were given to those nurses to resume work but unfortunately, they were turned back by the Hospital Management due to the financial crunch faced by the state.
“Those doctors that resumed in Specialist Hospital are about 20 but there is doubt in the status of their payment because, what happened with the payment of doctors salaries last months is indeed drawing them back and they are thinking of resigning.
” They are not sure of their salaries, because half salaries were paid to old doctors, so they are not sure of what will happened to them. Do you know what, nemesis is the one catching up with them because they where earlier warned by their other colleagues not to accept any employment from the Kogi State Government.
” When doctors were on strike, Government wanted to recruit new doctors so that they could have reasons to justify their actions. But unfortunately for them, doctors called off their strike action but it was too late to reverse the recruitment process back then,” the source noted. Another source told DAILY POST that, the appointment of about 85 health workers including doctors and nurses newly recruited by the State Government, at the Hospital Management Board (HMB) was also reversed.
Also, it was learnt that about 20 doctors within the Hospital Management Board (HMB) have been converted to ‘locals’ ( doctors placed on Contract).
A doctor who claimed he was newly recruited by the State Government said, ” I resign my appointment as a doctor in Nasarawa State just to get this medical job in Kogi. Now, i am supposed to resume on the 1st of September, 2017 but I was told to hold on. I have rented an apartment here in Lokoja, relocated my family down to this place, but felt disappointed with this news. Where do I go from here?
When contacted, the Kogi state commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu said the information was not true.
“We didn’t reverse the appointment of any health workers newly recruited by Kogi State Government. It was only a change of resumption date and they will soon be communicated.”
It would be recalled that about four months ago, Kogi State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Audu, told newsmen that over N2.14bn had been set aside for the recruitment of medical personnel to shore up the shortage of manpower in the health institutions across the state.
From his earlier statement, the state government made known its intention to employ 180 Medical Officers, 52 Consultants, 199 Pharmacists, 400 Nurses, 100 Laboratory Technicians and 49 Radiographers.
Recall that the Nigeria Medical Association in June 2017 warned Doctors to beware of any employment coming from the Kogi State government at this critical period of salary irregularities.
NMA during this period fumed at the alleged attempt by the State Government to recruit new doctors in a bid to replace striking doctors who had not been paid for months.
“Information reaching NMA indicate that the Kogi State government through the ministry of health has concluded plans to recruit new set of medical officers to replace the doctors on strike from Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th June 2017.
“That appointment letter will be issued immediately and posted to various hospitals across the state. NMA Kogi State advises and warns those doctors invited for the interview to have a rethink. What happened to old pot can still happen to new pot. We are not against government policies provided it is aimed at ameliorating the suffering of the masses” NMA explained in a statement issued to journalists in June 2017.