The Commissioner for Health in Cross River State, Dr. Henry Egbe Ayuk, has taken decisive action against a vendor operating the pharmacy unit at the General Hospital, Calabar. This move comes in response to alleged “financial impropriety and lack of quality assurance” in the vendor’s service delivery.
The suspension was announced on Monday following an unannounced visit to the General Hospital, Calabar. The visit aimed to assess the level of operations following the end of a 40-day strike by the Cross River chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
Dr. Ayuk expressed his dismay at the anomalies plaguing the hospital, confirming that the pharmacy operator had failed to remit any payments to the government for the past 15 months. Moreover, he highlighted a dearth of qualified personnel, describing the vendor-run unit as a “quack shop” riddled with unethical practices.
“The people managing the pharmacy are not qualified. They do not have any background in pharmacy; so we do not know why they are there. As far as I am concerned, that place is a quack shop because it does not have the required personnel. How do you ensure quality assurance when you do not even have pharmacy technicians, which is a minimum requirement for such services?” Dr. Ayuk questioned.
In response, the Health Commissioner has taken decisive action. He has suspended the vendor’s services and directed government officials, including the Medical Superintendent, accountants of the hospital, Ministry of Health representatives, and hospital pharmacists, to assume control. Their mandate includes maintaining a record of stock balances and ensuring accountability in the pharmacy’s operations until a more effective arrangement is established.
Addressing additional concerns, Dr. Ayuk called for increased accountability in the hospital’s laboratories. He drew attention to revenue leakages and mentioned that a certain entity was diverting about 15 percent of generated revenue to undisclosed parties. “We want to see exactly what value they are bringing to the hospital that justifies the 15 percent they receive,” he stated.
The Health Commissioner emphasized the importance of rendering healthcare services that align with the administration’s “People First” agenda, led by Governor Bassey Otu. He urged citizens to recognize the government’s commitment to their health and well-being and called for collective efforts to eliminate leaks that hinder progress.
Dr. Ayuk also expressed his gratitude to the Cross River NMA for thoughtfully ending their 40-day strike, enabling doctors to resume essential services in hospitals. He encouraged the public to seek medical attention at government health facilities across the state.
During the hospital visit, the Health Commissioner and his team were accompanied by the Medical Superintendent, Dr. Prashant Kumar, and other staff members of the facility.
As the government takes steps to ensure the quality and accountability of healthcare services, the focus remains on delivering healthcare that aligns with the state’s commitment to its citizens’ well-being.