Calabar – The Cross River Primary HealthCare Development Agency (CRPHCDA) said on Tuesday that it had uncovered fake certificates, promotion letters and other irregularities during the ongoing verification exercise.
Dr Betta Edu, the Director-General of the agency, disclosed this to newsmen at the ongoing personnel audit conducted by the Primary Healthcare Centre, Ediba, Calabar.
Edu said that the exercise became imperative following Gov. Ben Ayade’s directive to fish out ghost workers in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the state.
He said that records showed that there were 4,000 health workers in all the primary healthcare centres across the state as at December 2015 when he assumed duty.
“From the needs assessment and unscheduled visit to most of the health centres, it was evident that the number on paper being paid salaries does not truly exist.
“The last four days have been the toughest as the chief servant of primary healthcare in Cross River. I have seen tears, drama, heard loud voices, confession, begging and plea for amnesty.
“I have seen forged documents, no practicing licence, fake promotion letters, irregularities in salaries received, enough lies on how some people’s documents were eaten by their grandmother’s cat and lots more.
“I have seen persons who finished First School Leaving Certificate at the age of four and others who had West African Examination Council result at the age of five.
“I have seen people of my mother’s age looking at me in the face and telling me that they are 10 years younger. The question is, how did things get this bad?
“If things like this occur in other spheres, should it occur in the health sector, where the precious lives of people are at stake? Should this be allowed to continue?”
She said that she had rejected so many phones calls from people asking her to lower the standard of the audit and clear their relatives, adding that the right thing must be done to save lives.
The director-general said that the state needed health workers to deliver efficient healthcare service to the people.
According to her, the state health insurance scheme tagged ‘Ayade Care’, needs capable health workforce to make it functional and effective.
“We need the right people with the right skills to deliver our pregnant women and keep our babies alive.
“We want to set the right foundation for primary healthcare in Cross River and build a system that truly works.
“We have, so far, carried out the exercise in six local government areas.
We are left with 12 council areas and I can assure you that at the end of the exercise, necessary actions will be taken,” she said.
However, Edu did not disclose the actual number of people with fake document and promotion letters so far discovered.