Civil servants in Imo State, have embarked on fasting and prayer sessions, begging God to touch the heart of Governor Rochas Okorocha to pay them their salaries.
The civil servants said they were being owed seven months salary arrears, which makes it difficult to fulfill their financial responsibilities to their families. They also pointed out that the only possible alternative was for them, to ask God to divinely intervene in their difficulties.
Health workers in the state are not left out the crisis as the state government plans to handover the management of ALL public hospitals to private individuals-- a step which has generated a lot of controversies and concerns.
One of those against the sale of the hospitals is Imo State Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Dr. Emele. He said commercialising government hospitals will reduce the standard of living of the people, because the new management will be based on profit-making rather than providing basic healthcare assistance to the people.
The NMA also fears that the government may hurriedly implement its controversial policies without consulting health personnel who are well informed of the challenges facing the public health institutions. At worst, without duly considering the negative effect on the citizens of the state.
As expected, the proposed sale of the government hospitals has raised several questions including:
1. Why does the Rochas-led government consider it wise to “sell” the existing hospitals built by the past administrations, and at the same time embark on the construction of about 27 new general hospitals, in the 27 Local Government Areas in the state?
2. Is it possible for health workers to perform optimally in a situation where the health sector is under funded and faced with outdated facilities?
3. Is it true that the ongoing new construction of 27 general hospitals, if completed will also be sold?
Only Governor Rochas has the answers.
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