Ondo State government says plans are on to address the acute shortage of health workers within the health system in the state.
In an interview on Sunday, Francis Faduyile, Special Adviser to the governor on Health, said the state government was planning to bring back some retirees through a special arrangement that would make up the shortfalls until the system equilibrates.
Mr Faduyile said factors beyond government control at all levels caused the migration of health workers from the country.
“Again, we are looking at the possibility of some of our retirees to come back on a special arrangement so that we can still use them until we will be able to equilibrate again and move at a normal level,” he said.
He added, “This is not peculiar to doctors alone; it affects the pharmacists, nurses, and health assistants.”
The special adviser observed that this was not the first time “japa” (emigration) syndrome was happening in the country, noting that the country had a similar experience from 1985 to 1990.
He, however, blamed it on some factors, including the devaluation of the naira and the COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed the weakness and strength of the health sector of countries worldwide.
He lamented that recruiting people into the health sector was challenging because the sector had been largely depleted.
“If you are looking for fresh people, they will tell you that they just wanted to have a place to work for four to five months before they perfect their papers. It is that serious.
“But the state government is looking into it and see what we can do to replace them, but we want to formalise it so that as they are going, we are getting new people in replacement.
“We want to also see that those who are within the hospital that can spare their time to visit other hospitals; so that one person can replicate himself in two or three centres.
“We equally want to look at some of our contiguous big hospitals around Owo and the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Osun and get some of their personnel to complement what we have on ground.
“Also, some have retired; some have relocated back from wherever they were and are older than the age of fresh employment; we want to open up contract appointments so that they can join us.”