Friday, 8 February 2019

UGONSA BATTLES UNTH OVER EXCLUSION OF NURSE INTERNS FROM INTERNSHIP ADVERTS

The Chief Medical Director,
University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH),
Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State

Attention:
Director of Administration
                   &
Head of Nursing Services, UNTH

Sir/Madam,

DELIBERATE EXCLUSION OF NURSE INTERN POSITION FROM INTERNSHIP ADVERT OF YOUR HOSPITAL FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE TIME SINCE THE RELEASE OF THE NURSES’ INTERNSHIP CIRCULAR IS AN ILL WIND THAT WILL BLOW NO ONE ANY GOOD

Nightingales greetings from the University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA), the professional association of nurses with a minimum of first degree in nursing.

2. Recall that the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) had on 8th September, 2016 released a circular, REF No. HCSF/EIR/CND/S.100/ST/97, that made a one-year internship training a compulsory part of nursing education for the Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree as is obtainable with the university education of other healthcare disciplines (refer Annexure A).

3. Recall also that when your hospital wrongly excluded the position of nurse intern from its advert placement for internship training in November, 2017, we complained to your office and thereafter approached the Federal Ministry of Health for intervention and the Ministry in her letter, Ref No. C2920/S.3/C.2/VOL1/116 dated 12th February, 2018 addressed to your office ordered your hospital to implement the nurses’ internship and the proper placement of graduate nurses who are already in the workforce from CONHESS 07 to CONHESS 08 (.i.e the new entry point base into the civil service for the graduate nurses) (refer Annexure B).

4. We were taken aback on Friday 16th November, 2018 as our attention was called to an advert placement for internship training by your hospital, as published by an online news media via the link http://nigerianmedinterns.com/the-university-of-nigeria-teaching-hospital-ituku-ozalla-calls-for-applications , which listed internship positions for the graduates of other healthcare disciplines except nursing.

5. This is despite the fact that the Federal Ministry of Health had on February 20, 2018 vide its letter Ref No. C.6093/T/16, written all the Chief Medical Directors (CMDs)/Medical Directors (MDs), Heads of Regulatory Bodies/Agencies, including your esteemed office, directing advertisement for nurse interns and proper placement of already employed graduates of B.N.Sc degree (refer Annexure C).

6. Accompanying the said letter (.i.e Annexure C) was another letter, Ref No.C6093/T/13 dated 19th June, 2017, where the Ministry succinctly spelt out the guidelines for implementation of the circular for the nurses’ internship and proper placement (refer Annexure D).

7. Apart from directing that the internship should be implemented, the referred letter (.i.e Annexure D) also stated that all nursing officers hitherto on grade level 08 (.i.e CONHESS 07) should be moved to the new base of grade level 09 (CONHESS 08) and that seniority on the new post should be effective from 8th September, 2016 (being the date of release of the circular REF No. HCSF/EIR/CND/S.100/ST/97 by the office of the head of civil service of the federation).

8. It is also good to further remind you that on 3rd October, 2017 the Federal Ministry of Health had, vide a circular, Ref No. DHS/800/I/T/8, specifically directed all CMDs/MDs, including your office, to implement the nurses’ internship circular and report the status of the implementation to the ministry (refer ANNEXURE E).

9. It is therefore very unfortunate, to see this directives being trivialized by UNTH under your able leadership when other hospitals have implemented it to give nurses a sense of inclusiveness and equity.

10. From the foregoing, it is very convenient to completely exonerate the Federal Ministry of Health from any culpability whatsoever in the non-implementation of internship and proper placement of graduate nurses by your hospital.

11. Having written you on this subject matter on several occasions since the release of the circular as well as the avalanche of evidences that showed that the Federal Ministry of Health had on different occasions directed  you to implement the circular, with the unfortunate outcome of yet excluding nurse interns in the current internship advert by your hospital as well as refusal to make CONHESS 08 the new entry point of the graduate nurses, we are constrained to belief that what is at play at UNTH is a deliberate and calculated discrimination against nurses.

12. Our people are already agitated and cannot continue to endure such humiliation and discrimination. Since it is a treatise that equity breeds lasting peace, we  appeal that what is due for nurses should be implemented by your hospital for them without further delay as continued denial of their right remains an ill wind that will blow us no good in the nearest future.

PRAYER
We respectfully demand that you

1. advertise the post of nurse interns as was done for the interns of other healthcare disciplines.

2. help fresh graduate nurses, both of Enugu State and non-Enugu State extraction, trained in University of Nigeria Enugu Campus (UNEC) and other universities across the country complete their nursing education vis-à-vis internship training by offering them opportunity to run internship training in your hospital.

3. upgrade existing nursing officers who were on CONHESS 07 before the release of the circular to the new base of CONHESS 08 effective from 8th September, 2016 (being the date of release of the circular REF No. HCSF/EIR/CND/S.100/ST/97 by the office of the head of civil service of the federation) as prescribed by the civil service circular, Ref No. B63279/S.7/II/T/273 dated 24th April, 2002 (please refer Annexure F).

4. commence the employment of fresh graduate nurses on CONHESS 08 and upgrade the existing nursing officers who were wrongly employed on CONHESS07 after 8th September, 2016 to CONHESS 08 effective from the date of their employment.
Kindly accept the assurances of our esteemed regards.

Signed:


CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                                    NURSE G.I. NSHI
           National President                                                           National Secretary
CC
Director, Human Resources Federal Ministry of Health
Director Nursing Services, Federal Ministry of Health
Commissioner of Health, Enugu State
Vice Chancellor, University of Nigeria Nsukka

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