The Federal Government has inaugurated boards for all tertiary health institutions in Nigeria.
Inaugurating the board in Abuja this week, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said the appointees are to give policy direction to the management of institutions under them.
President Muhammadu Buhari had few weeks ago approved the composition of hoards of Federal Government parastatal, agencies and institutions.
“Governing Boards are creations of statutes, and their responsibilities are to give policy direction to the management of Institutions. I therefore wish to emphasise that government expects no less from these boards that are to be inaugurated today.
“Your agencies are critical to the achievement of developmental goals of government, being implementing entities of the health sector. You are all enjoined to commit to achieving this mandate and to live above board.
“The roles you are being called upon to play revolves around setting the standards for control and discipline which are the core elements required for any positive change to take place. Your appointments should be seen as an opportunity to make useful and selfless contributions toward uplifting healthcare service delivery in Nigeria.
“For health institutions to have the desired impact on the lives of our citizens, they must be of the right quality, skill mix and right attitude to service delivery.
“It is your responsibility as chairmen and members of the governing boards to bring about this desired change in the short term. You must acquaint yourselves with the mandates as contained in the enabling Act of your parastatal, agency and institution,” the minister said.
He cautioned that except where expressly stated by statute, board appointments are part time, and that management of the hospitals should be allowed to perform the day to day running of their organizations without hindrance.
The minister warned the appointees against corrupt practices and said government would punish any board member found to have been involved in the act.
He appealed to the board to help resolve inter professional rivalries which result in incessant strikes, attendant low productivity and resultant poor service delivery in the nation’s public health facilities.
He also urged the boards to ensure professional discipline amongst health professionals. “This is one of the most important tasks you must carry out as Governing Boards. It requires due diligence, transparency, firmness and fairness. There is a significant number of cases of professional misconduct pending against some health professionals under your purview. These should be dispensed with expeditiously to ensure public confidence in the health sector.
“You are also required to devise innovative ways of ensuring that health professionals across board, collaborate with each other in the spirit of professional interdependence and that they comply with prescribed code of practice and professional conduct while maintaining the highest ethical decorum in and out of the work place,” the minister said.
Other issues the government wants the government wants the boards to work on include standards for health workforce, good governance and accountability.