Pate, Health Ministry RAN autonomy
Prof. Muhammed Ali Pate
Pate Visits National Hospital, Promises to Lift Embargo on Health Workers’ Employment

By Lawal Dahiru Mamman

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Muhammad Ali Pate has said his administration will work with other ministries to allow hospital replace health workers who are exiting the system.

This he said will reduce the burden and stress on other workers as the government works to make the environment in Nigeria more favourable.

The Minister said this while fielding questions from journalists during his visit to the National Hospital Abuja on Saturday.

“Human resource is one of the most important elements in the health sector, not just the building and the equipment. So, we need to support them and improve the circumstance of their work to reduce the stress level.

“Some health workers are leaving because of work overload and other circumstances, the replacement of those health workers can be expedited and we will work with other agencies of government to lift the embargo on health professionals’ employment. This is to ensure that when clinical staff members exit, hospitals can replace them to avoid creating unnecessary burden for others.

“Similarly, for post graduate trainees, we are going to expedite how they get into internships and circumstances so that they can have a productive experience and practice in the best way possible and retain those who are willing to return. We must make Nigeria’s health system better, there is no other ways to go about it and we are committed to that,” he said.

After touring the hospital, the Minister identified electricity, obsolete equipment and inadequate funding as the three major problems facing health facilities across the country, pledging that he would work with other stakeholders to address them.

The minister appreciated the leadership and staff of the hospital while stressing that leadership is a very strong pillar required to solve the identified problems.

The Chief Medical Director, CMD, Mahmud Raji, who took the minister around the facility appreciated his presence, and proclaimed that, despite challenges facing the hospital, he is hopeful that with the antecedents of Professor Pate, there is “light at the end of the tunnel.”

Some of the units visited by the minister include: Brachytherapy Suite, Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, DNA and Forensic Lab, Advanced Pathology Suite, Radiotherapy Centre, Telemedicine Unit, Noma Treatment Centre, Paediatric Ward, Kids Operation Room, OR and Trauma Centre.