Abia Health Workers To Enjoy Special Welfare Package By 2024 – Gov. Alex Otti


Abia Health Workers To Enjoy Special Welfare Package By 2024 – Gov. Alex Otti


Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, says his government will be introducing a special welfare package for health workers in the state in the new year, 2024.

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Governor Otti and Commissioner for Health, Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo.

The move, the Governor said, is aimed at discouraging the mass exodus of workers in the State health system, travelling abroad for greener pastures, as well as motivate them to remain in the system.

Governor Otti announced this on Wednesday while declaring open, the Ministry of Health ‘First State Council on Health’, held at the International Conference Centre, Umuahia, with the theme, “Providing an Accessible, Affordable and Quality Healthcare System for the New Abia”.

He said “the Japa syndrome” had taken its toll on the heath sector in the state, adding, however, that his administration was not leaving any stone unturned in addressing the challenge.

“To this end, government has resolved to motivate our healthcare workers through prompt payment of their wages and improvement of welfare packages that we will introduce from 2024,” Governor Otti declared to the excitement of the crowd, mainly health workers.

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Governor Otti addresses the participants at the event.

He stated that improving the healthcare system was one of the cardinal objectives of his administration, recalling that he had promised to make the health of the people a priority during the campaigns. He expressed happiness that the accreditation of ABSUTH, which was lost a couple of years back, has been restored with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria increasing its quota into the Abia State University College of Medicine and training of House Officers.

Governor Otti announced that his administration was about recruiting workers to strengthen the health sector.

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“We are in the process of recruiting new skilled birth attendants in order to improve healthcare service delivery in the State. Furthermore, our ongoing digitalisation of the Abia State civil service has uncovered some staff that have left their duty post for greener pastures, yet still receive remuneration from the State government.

“While the criminality involved in this is going to be addressed by the relevant agencies of government, the important thing here is that we do not have the number of hands that were hither to reported. We are working hard to fill these gaps,” he said.

The Governor disclosed that government had commenced revamping and strengthening the primary healthcare system in the state and ensuring that there are healthcare workers to man such facilities accross the State. He added also that government had resuscitated the State Health Insurance Scheme.

Governor Otti further stated that his administration had continued to retrofit and retool the healthcare facilities in every part of the State, adding that the administration had renovated and commissioned the General hospital in Amachara, Umuahia, and Abia State Specialist and Diagnostic Centre, Aba Road, also in Umuahia, while work is ongoing in the other 14 General Hospitals accros the State.

He called on all Abians to key into the mantra of “A New Abia is Possible”.

The Minister of Health, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Abia State Ministry of Health, Dr. Ifenyinwa Uma-Kalu, said the event was apt, arising from the experience of Covid-19, which exposed the inadequacies of healthcare and the need to improve on it.

The Minister stressed the need for State governments to support the Federal Government by providing the necessary infrastructure in the healthcare system and congratulated the Abia State Governor, Dr. Otti, on his resolve to renew the healthcare system in Abia.

In her address, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo, described the First State Council on Health as a demonstration of the commitment of the Governor Alex Otti’s administration to prioritising developmental initiatives, capable of unlocking the potential of Abia’s strategic human capital to fast -track the attainment of socio- economic development of the present administration.

Dr. Okoronkwo said that the focus of the administration is to bestow on Abians a health system that meets the needs of the people irrespective of socio-economic status, adding that it would in turn put Abia on the path of attaining Universal Health Coverage for all.

She noted that under the present administration various health institutions are being retrofitted, saying that the State has also met Abuja declaration by allocating 15 percent of the 2024 budget estimate to the health sector, while the proposal for the upward review of health workers emolument is currently receiving the attention of the Governor.

Also, the keynote speaker and former Director, Health Planning and Statistics of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Ngozi Azodo, stressed the need for functional healthcare system. She said that successful healthcare delivery hinges on collaboration and partnership and appreciated Governor Otti for bringing back hope in Abia healthcare sector.