Cross River govt to punish 54 health workers for extortion

The Cross River State government says it will punish 54 healthcare workers for allegedly extortion money from patients in primary healthcare facilities across the state.

Betta Edu, the Director-General, Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency, stated this on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar.

Mrs Edu said the agency had set up a disciplinary committee to look into the petition, including absenteeism and gross misconduct of health workers.

She added that the committee would also checkmate the workers and punish the offenders to serve as a deterrent to others.

Mrs Edu, who did not disclose the type of sanctions for the erring workers, warned them to shun all forms of sharp practices.

“Some of the issues at the primary healthcare level are the extortion of money under the table by charging members of the public for the services that are supposed to be free.

“Also, the issue of workers’ absenteeism and reporting to work late are hindering the smooth delivery of healthcare services, especially at the rural areas’’ she said.

The director-general said the agency was looking into improving the integrated supportive supervision for members of staff with a view to ensuring primary healthcare facilities were open for service accordingly.

She advised residents in rural communities to always report any erring health worker who demand money from them for health services.

Mrs Edu said medical service delivery at the primary healthcare level was completely free.

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