The Governor of Benue State, Jacinto Aliarevived a doctor training plan on Monday aimed at boosting the state’s health sector.
The scheme, called “medical voucher”, aims to sponsor medical students in exchange for providing services in public hospitals in Benue.
Newslodge reported that former Governor Samuel Ortom’s administration scrapped the plan in 2017, leading to severe shortage of doctors in Benue general hospitals.
Under the program, medical students received financial support from the state government while in college and were required to serve for at least two years after graduating.
Speaking at an induction ceremony of 41 medical graduates at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi, Mr Alia led the immediate commencement of the bonus scheme for doctors.
“The bonus doctors plan has been resurrected. We want all of our doctors to stay in,” promising to “do everything we can to provide greener pastures.” Please do not go”.
The governor’s directive followed a request by the president of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in the state, Usha Anenga, that the scheme be reinstated to address the deteriorating health system.
Some hospitals in the state have two doctors who care for hundreds of thousands of patients.
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The governor recalled some interventions he had made shortly after assuming office on May 29 to address pressing issues in the state’s health sector: the payment of a monthly allowance of N100,000 to doctors undergoing the one-year mandatory programme. of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Benue.
Mr Alia said he had paid this year’s residency training fees for the doctors, which the NMA president confirmed.
To academics who complained about a shortfall in their salaries, Mr Alia said: “Consider the anomaly in the university salary shortfall fixed today.”
Oath to serve humanity
In his charge to the new doctors, the governor urged them to reflect on the essence of their Hippocratic oath and to “serve humanity” diligently.
He said the university had a vital role in the growth of Benue, urging academics to boost training and research.
Earlier, the Rector of the university, Tor Iorapuu, a professor, advised the new members to be good ambassadors of the university in the exercise of their trade.
Iorapuu praised the governor for being the first to attend the university’s doctors induction ceremony.
He commended the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) for increasing the university’s medical faculty admission quota from 75 to 150.
The vice-chancellor recalled the decade-long academic journey of the new members and praised them for their resilience.
In his comment, MDCN Registrar Tajudeen Sanusi said the BSU Faculty of Health Sciences “remains a shining example” in training medical personnel in Nigeria.
Sanusi urged members to imbibe ethical values as the council would not hesitate to discipline doctors who make mistakes.
In the same vein, the Chancellor of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Benue State University, Chia Saalu, a professor, implored doctors to show integrity and responsibility in the course of their work.
He praised the new members for their “years of hard work and determined pursuit,” urging them not to forget “their humanity” when treating patients.
The university inducted its first group of medical graduates in 2015. Monday’s event brings the total number of doctors who graduated from the school to 367.
One of the highlights of the ceremony was the recognition of two female inductees, Dorathy Igbaver and Sandra Imenger, as the best graduating students in surgery.
In addition, the promotion of graduated doctors gave an award to Governor Alia for his interventions in the state’s health sector.