The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) and the University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) have condemned the alleged continuous discrimination against nurses and nurse interns by the management of Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, a situation they described as deliberate attempts to frustrate nurses in the institution.
The nursing groups have also called on the Director of Human Resources, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Mohammed Lawal Yahuza, to use his good office in resolving the anomalies at the FMC Owerri, in order to ensure equity and fairness to all.
Reacting to the recent development, the NANNM National President, Comrade Abdurafiu Adeniji said the leadership of National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives totally condemned the continuous relegation, non-recognition and unacceptable discrimination in terms of human resources development for health in our healthcare services and most importantly at the federal health institutions in Nigeria.
Comrade Adeniji, who spoke with Pharmanewsonline in an exclusive chat noted that “Nursing is the pivot upon which all other healthcare services professionals revolves around. Without due attention given to nurses and nursing care services providers, no appreciable development can be achieved. We totally condemn the criminal intent been demonstrated by chief executives of federal health institutions by not including nurses and nurse interns when vacancies are been declared and advertisement made and nurse interns and nursing cadres are intentionally left out of such advertisement.
“This is an attempt to marginalise nursing services in our health sector, whereas there is acute shortage of professionals in the nursing category that is already affecting the fundamental human right of quality healthcare services to the Nigerian populace”, he asserted
Speaking through a press statement, which was jointly signed by UGONSA National President, Chief (Hon) S.E.O. Egwuenu, and National Secretary, Nur. G.I. Nshi, UGONSA recalled a case where the management of Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri on two consecutive instances, refused to include the position of nurse interns in their advert placement that listed internship positions of other healthcare disciplines, despite all the directives from the Federal Ministry of Health mandating them to do so.
“The latest of these discriminations against nurses was done via their advert placement for internship published by Daily Sun Newspaper of Monday 15th October, 2018 (page 20) that listed internship position for other healthcare disciplines except nursing.
“It will also be recalled that we approached your office for your kind intervention when this same management of FMC Owerri in October, 2017 excluded only the position of nurse intern from their advert placement for internship that listed interns of other healthcare disciplines just as they have done in the current dispensation.
“It was also on record that the ministry graciously intervened and directed that they implement the nurses’ internship and effect the proper placement of already employed graduate nurses vide several letters and circulars [e.g. Ref No. C2920/S.3/C.2/VOL1/116 dated 12th February, 2018 (specifically addressed to the MD FMC Owerri); Ref No. C.6093/T/16 dated February 20, 2018; Ref No.C6093/T/13 dated 19th June, 2017; Ref No. DHS/800/I/T/8 dated 3rd October, 2017]”, the statement reads in part.
According to the group, despite the fatherly intervention of the ministry to give a sense of belonging to all categories of healthcare workers , it became obvious that those at the helm of affairs in FMC Owerri, out of primordial sentiment against nurses are bent on treating nurses as outcasts in our health system.
It was on this note UGONSA urged Dr Yahuza, to prevail on the management of FMC Owerri to : Advertise the post of nurse interns as was done for the interns of other healthcare disciplines (as published by Daily Sun Newspaper on Monday 15th October, 2018); Upgrade existing nursing officers who were on CONHESS 07 before the release of the circular to the new base of CONHESS 08 effective from 8th September, 2016 (being the date of release of the circular REF No. HCSF/EIR/CND/S.100/ST/97 by the office of the head of civil service of the federation) as prescribed by the civil service circular, Ref No. B63279/S.7/II/T/273 dated 24th April, 2002 (please refer Annexure B).
The association also prayed for the commencement of employment of fresh graduate nurses on CONHESS 08 and upgrade the existing nursing officers who were wrongly employed on CONHESS 07 by FMC Owerri after 8th September, 2016 to CONHESS 08 effective from the date of their employment.