The Kogi Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, said on Wednesday that the state government had closed down some illegal clinics operated by quack doctors across the state.
Audu disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Nigeria Medical Association’s (NMA) Physicians’ Week in Lokoja, with the theme “Universal Health Coverage: Leaving No One Behind”.
He said that the Kogi Inspectorate Unit under the Directorate of Medical Services and Training, had closed down many illegal hospitals.
“Kogi is no longer a save haven for quacks and illegal clinics to operate.
“Many illegal hospitals have been closed down which has resulted into many applications flowing into the ministry for permission to operate and we have been giving the qualified ones licence.
“As I speak, we have compiled and forwarded our bills to the Kogi House of Assembly, which, when passed into law, will enable us to prosecute defaulters.
“We are not going to rest on our oars; we will continue to ensure that Kogi is save from quacks.”
He added that the state Ministry of Health had recorded wonderful results in tax and registration of private hospitals in Kogi.
“If we are to make progress in our health sector, the private practitioners cannot be left out.”
On the issue of the non-payment of salaries, the commissioner said it had been of great concern to the government.
However, he said that the government was working round the clock to clear all salaries and arrears of all workers in the state.
In his remarks, Dr Kabiru Zubair, the state Chairman of NMA, said the week was dedicated to celebrate doctors for their selfless service to humanity as well as appraise their situation in the previous year.
Zubair observed that many doctors had left the civil service due to non-payment of salary by the state government.
“In the last nine months alone, 27 doctors have resigned from the Kogi State Specialist Hospital (KSSH), Lokoja, including two consultants.
“Forty four 44 have resigned from the State Hospitals Management Board (HMB) and eight from the Kogi State University Teaching Hospital, Anyigba.
“The problem of quackery being talked about will get worse because as the doctors are leaving, they are creating a vacuum which are filled by less qualified or not qualified people.
“There is no amount of efforts that can stop quackery if doctors are leaving the state due to poor welfare and irregularities in payment on salaries,” Zubair said.