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Akwa Ibom issues new rules for renewal of hospital licences — after TheCable’s investigation

Akwa Ibom issues new rules for renewal of hospital licences — after TheCable’s investigation
January 13
13:34 2021

The Akwa Ibom state government has issued new guidelines for renewal of licences of hospitals operating in the state to crack down on the quackery recently exposed by TheCable.

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Augustine Umoh, the state commissioner of health, said on Wednesday that the fresh guidelines were issued as part of steps taken to address issues raised in a recent report by this newspaper.

TheCable had exposed how private hospitals in Akwa Ibom train quack nurses in the guise of an “auxiliary nursing programme”.

During several visits to the hospitals across the state, TheCable observed how trainees under the programme — who are mostly young girls — are allowed to directly manage patients.

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In some of the facilities, trainees were absorbed to work as nurses after completing the two-year programme, without having to obtain licence to practice from accredited institutions.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) had told TheCable such practices amount to quackery and vowed to shut down hospitals indicted.

Umoh said in a statement that the state ministry of health met with various stakeholders after which they agreed that hospitals must be re-inspected “to ascertain that minimum standards are maintained” before their licences are renewed.

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He said the ministry also visited some private medical facilities for “firsthand assessment”, including one those exposed by TheCable.

“The team was led by the Permanent Secretary and members included the Director of Medical Services, the State Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association, etc,” he said.

“The Honourable Commissioner for Health next summoned a meeting of Ministry with the Exco of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners (AGPMPN), Akwa Ibom Chapter.

“The resolution was that a pre-condition for renewal of licence from 2021 will be re-inspection to ascertain that minimum standards are maintained in all facilities.”

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He added that a task force was constituted to ensure “strict compliance” of the new guidelines.

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