By Eme Offiong, Calabar
The Primary Healthcare Development Agency, PHCDA, has concluded plans to employ 1000 workers to provide quality services in remote communities in Cross River State, southern Nigeria.
The Director General of the agency, Dr. Betta Edu told Newsmen in Calabar city that to achieve the objective, it has shortlisted 5,300 Nigerians for employment examination, which would be held on March 16.
Dr Edu said that over 7,500 Nigerians applied for different cadre of jobs through its website, noted that care was taken to shortlist only medical professionals for the test.
The Director General said “when we launched our website, a total of 7,500 Nigerians applied for the 13 cadre we have in the primary healthcare sector.
“We sorted the applications and shortlisted those who have the medical background we need…Although, we found applications from architects, accountants, who applied as medical professional.”
“We stuck to our guns and selected only those we need to run this sector effectively. having people from other field apply as medical professional only shows the level of unemployment in this country”, she noted.
Dr Edu stated that another reason to employ the number of workers was to achieve universal health coverage, which required effective primary healthcare delivery system.
“Nigeria and indeed Cross River State, is committed to achieving universal health coverage. We cannot achieve this without the human resources, the manpower on the field to deliver quality healthcare services to our people” Dr Edu explained.
She said; “one of the challenges we face today is paucity of healthcare professionals.
We need doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacist and others to boost the sector.”
“Besides, there are 423 hard to reach communities such as Belegete, Ito, Eniong and other villages that take you 6 hours from Calabar to the Local Government headquarters and another 8 hours on foot to arrive there,” Dr Edu stressed.
The Director General said “the agency has what we call rural allowance. These is an incentive to our medical staff who serve where we have needs in the villages…We will be giving these to the new employees.”
She said that her determination is to employ successful candidates based on merit without fear or favour.
“I am prepared to step on toes to get the right people we need for this job…My main interest is delivering quality healthcare to our people. We will cannot compromise on best practices,”Dr Edu added.