- In his usual manner, the governor of Borno state has fished out health workers who extort money from patients in the state
- The governor discovered that the health workers charge as high as N10,000 for services that are supposed to be free for the patients
- According to the governor, during his visit to the hospitals, he found out the workers charge these patients before diagnosing or treating their ailment
The Borno state governor, Babagana Zulum, on Thursday, November 4, disguised as a patient to visit some government-owned healthcare facilities in the state.
During the clandestine visit, the governor found out that officials in the facilities collect between N8,000 and N10,000 from patients for services they are meant to receive free of charge.
Daily Trust reports that the governor had summoned the state's commissioner for health, Juliana Bitrus, whom he asked to join him in a 10-seater bus usually used for the airport shuttle.
It was gathered that the governor had left the Borno state Government House at about 1.30 pm without his usual convoy or siren leaving everyone surprised.
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When he arrived at the newly established primary healthcare centre at Gwange II ward in Maiduguri, Zulum discovered that some of the staff of the facility were collecting money from patients before attending to them for common ailments like malaria.
“The staff we met here (at Gwange II, PHC) confirmed that they use to collect between N8,000 to N10,000 from patients to treat malaria."
"In fact they have turned this Government health centre into a private hospital, and this is why the centre has been deserted by people who mostly do not have the money to access services here. The workers just collect money and put it in their pockets."
He further directed that the matter be investigated by the Borno State Primary Healthcare Agency.
The agency is expected to identify the culprits and recommend proper disciplinary measures against them.
In another breadth, the governor also discovered that only one out of the 29 medical staff who were on the facilities payroll was at work.
This level of impunity cannot be tolerated. The earlier we address it, the better for all of us."
In another facility in Gwange I, which was visited by the governor, everything seemed to be working fine as the staff were all on duty and no extortion of patients was going on at the centre.
Zulum on assessing the facility commended the staff before heading to schools in the state for another unannounced visit.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Zulum had increased the minimum wage of teachers in Borno state from N30,000 to N11,000.
The governor also assured adequate training for both qualified and unqualified teachers across the state.
He said the state government took the decision to increase the teachers pay because their welfare in the state is paramount.
In other news, the Borno state government had announced its plan to shut down all the internally displaced person camps in the state.
The state government was concluding plans to ensure that all the displaced persons in the state return to their communities.