Ayade curbs doctors’ exodus, approves full medical salary payment
By Joseph Kingston, Calabar
In order to reduce incessant exodus of medical doctors to other states and countries for greener pastures, Gov Ben Ayade has approved the 100 percent payment of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) for those working in the state government employ.
The state commissioner for health, Dr. Betta Edu, and the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in the state, Dr. Innocent Abang, made this known in Calabar during a press briefing held at the instance of the Office of the First Lady, with leaders of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and ministry of health in attendance.
The governor’s wife, Dr Linda Ayade, who was physically present, noted that the consistent exodus of doctors in the state had remained a challenge to her husband and the state government although he inherited the challenge saying the decision to implement CONMESS in full was to encourage them.
“I know there has been a lingering problem of exodus of doctors and it was becoming alarming. His Excellency needed to see how he could retain them.
“It is very sad that resident doctors keep going on strike for the same reasons and with the same result achieved at the end of all the strikes.
“The issue is why can’t we look for a way of solving the problem once and for all? The Cross River state government decided to do its bits to solve the CONMESS challenge and we are looking forward to having other doctors coming to work with us,” Dr Ayade stated.
Speaking earlier, health commissioner, Edu said that, with the approval, medical doctors in the state would start to enjoying same salary structure as their counterparts in the federal government health institutions.
She reasoned that the increment would serve as motivation to doctors to put in their best for the interest of their patients.
While commending Dr Ayade who, incidentally, is also a medical doctor, Edu said “You have left a mark which Cross River state. Doctors will ever remember you for you went further to push that Cross River state must achieve Universal Health Coverage.
“Perhaps, because you are a medical doctor who has practised here in the state and abroad, you know our pain.”
In his remarks, the NMA chairman (Abang) expressed his belief that the governor’s wife played a significant role in causing her husband to answer the age-long agitation but charged doctors to reciprocate the governor’s magnanimity.