The University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) has called on the Federal Government to reconsider its plans to scrap internship position as a post that attracts grade level in the civil service.
The National President, Mr Solomon Egwuenu and Secretary, Mr Philip Eteng of the association, made the call in a joint statement on Monday in Abakaliki.
The association said that such a move would not augur well for the development of the nation’s health sector.
According to the association, the period of internship is the most critical period of training of the healthcare professionals such as nurses, doctors, pharmacists and medical lab scientists.
“It is at this period that the foundation for practice is laid. Toying with such programme amounts to toying with the foundation; a house built on a faulty foundation is doomed to fall.
“Majority of the healthcare professionals that constitute the interns are a critical part of the healthcare workforce and they fill a considerable manpower gap in the health sector.
“Removing them from the civil service cadre in our own assessment can never give the required incentive to them but rather it will discourage them.
“Our health system is already at a crossroad and needs good incentives to motivate the workforce to continue their sacrifices for the nation rather than floating a kite for slashing their already paltry salaries,” he said.
The association noted that the healthcare sector was very peculiar in the sense that lives of the people were tied to it.
He posited that the healthcare professionals whether interns or not were supposed to be properly taken care of to enable them concentrate all their energies on the job.
The association said that poor performance of nation’s health system in global ranking was never the fault of healthcare professionals.
“There is need for improved facilities to enable our healthcare professionals to replicate the type of wonders they have been performing when they travel abroad in our own health system,” it said. (NAN)