The Osun State Government has vowed to henceforth sanction any health worker found to be extorting money from patients who patronize different Primary Healthcare Centres across the State.
This warning was given by the Special Adviser on Public Health to the Osun State Governor, Pharm. Olasoji Olamiju while featuring in a television programme in Osogbo, Tuesday.
The Special Adviser, who frowned at the practice, described it as an act of sabotaging the efforts of the state government at providing free medical services and promised that anyone caught will be made to face the full wrath of the law.
Olamiju said his office was in collaboration with the Osun Primary Healthcare Development Agency to set up a disciplinary committee that would look into any petition which will include absenteeism and gross misconduct of staff.
According to him, “The committee would serve to checkmate the workers and punish offenders so as to serve as a deterrent to others.
“We will not disclose the category of sanctions that will be meted out to any erring staff but we are still warning them to shun all forms of sharp practices.
“Some of the issues at the primary healthcare level are the extortion of money from members of the public by charging for services that are supposed to be rendered free.
“Also, the issue of workers’ absenteeism and reporting to work late are hindering the smooth delivery of healthcare services especially in the rural areas.”
He added that there was no need for engaging in such sharp practices by the health workers because the state government has been paying workers’ salaries and other allowances as and when due.
The Public Health expert explained that he was looking into improving the integrated supportive supervision for members of staff with a view to ensuring that primary healthcare facilities were open for service accordingly.
While stressing that medical service delivery at the primary healthcare level was still completely free, Olamiju advised residents across the state to always report any erring health worker who demanded money from them for health services by sending their complaints via text message to 08187187678.
The warning followed allegations levied against health workers in Ayedaade local government area of the State.