General private nurses in Nasarawa state have complained of harassment and multiple taxation hampering the work of nursing and maternity homes.
Among their complaints, they say authorities harass them for using ultrasound as a diagnostic instrument in maternity homes, and clearly label their facilities as not fit or cleared for surgery.
Regulations also stop nursing homes from upgrading to hospital status, even though all are charged equal fees on renewal.
Chairman of the Association of General Private Nursing Practitioners (AGPNP) in Nasarawa, Angbas Stephen, listed the issues in its run-in with state officials at a meeting of the association’s national executive council in Karu.
“The harassment by the inspectorate unit is preventing the use of ultra sound as a diagnostic instrument in our facilities,” he said.
Nasarawa regulation requires signage indicating facilities where surgeries can legally be carried out.
“The placement of plaques on the frontage of nursing and maternity homes bearing the inscription ‘No surgery here/Babu fida a nan’ is derogatory to the image of the nursing practice,” said Stephen.
He said the nursing homes suffer multiple taxation from local government officials at the same time the state ministry of health has hiked fees for licence renewal, charging the same as for hospitals.
“There are no differences in the renewal feeds from the hospital and lower cadre of the health establishment in the state. Whether a hospital or clinic, it pays flat rate annually apart from other taxations in the state,” said Stephen.
The association also complained about barriers to upgrade, saying presently nursing-and-maternity homes were unable to be “upgraded to hospital status, if they have the ability to do so.”
Despite the issues, Stephen said the association’s relationship with “our parent ministry is cordial.”