The House of Assembly of Osun State said it would soon enact a law that would prevent doctors from having private hospitals in the state’s employment.
Mr Timothy Owoeye, the Speaker of the Assembly, dropped the hint in his message of goodwill at the turning of the sod of the extension of the State Specialist Hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo, an initiative supported by Save One Million Lives For Results program.
Owoeye said that when the law comes into effect, only doctors who have been in the public health service for 20 years would be exempted.
According to him, while many health sector employees have endorsed the government in its effort to provide people with quality health, some have frustrated the attempts.
In his address, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, Osun State Governor, listed his administration’s numerous initiatives to revitalize the state’s health sector. He said that the hospital would be upgraded to an 180-bed unit after the extension work had been completed.
Oyetola said funding for the project came from the Federal Government to facilitate World Bank Save One Million Lives Initiatives from which the government was awarded $20,547 million after it was adjudged second in the contest nationwide.
In reaction to the Assembly’s plan to exclude them from private practice, the Chairman of the National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners of Osun State Chapter, Dr. Olufemi Oroge, urged the Assembly to exercise caution while seeking solutions to the challenges facing the state health sector.
He said if doctors’ welfare in the state’s jobs had been well taken care of, many of them would not engage in private practice and called for a holistic approach to solving the sector’s problems.
He called for dialog on the issue in order to arrive at a mutually beneficial situation, adding that government doctors’ personal practice was the only reason that many of them had not left the state elsewhere for greener pasture.