The Governing Board of the National Hospital, Abuja has petitioned the President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the appointment of a new Chief Medical Director for the hospital.
The letter obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday, dated March 10, 2023, was titled, ‘Appointment of Chief Medical Director/CEO for National Hospital, Abuja.’
The letter was signed by the Chairman of the Governing Board of the hospital, Patricia Etteh.
Etteh said the procedure for the appointment of a CMD started as soon as the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, approved the board to commence the process, and advertisements were placed in two national dailies between March 8, 2022, and April 19, 2022, while the candidates were shortlisted on May 9, 2022.
However, she said five months after, efforts to get a new CMD had been delayed.
“After about three reminder letters to commence the process, the Governing Board had to wait for a period of about six months after the placement of advertisement and the shortlisting of candidates before the final approval was given to commence the written and oral interview process vide a letter No: DHS/931/11/419 of 7th October 2022.
“Criteria for screening/short-listing of candidates were adopted as presented by the representatives of the Federal Ministry of Health.
“Please also note that the date of the interview was shifted twice by the Federal Ministry of Health and this was communicated to the shortlisted candidates,” the letter read in part.
Etteh also noted that a technical committee was set up, candidates underwent the interview processes and three candidates scored the highest out of the seven who participated in the oral interview.
She further said the recommendation was cancelled by the health minister.
“The Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Health however cancelled the exercise which was conveyed to the Governing Board via a letter of 11th November 2022, Ref No: HMH/ABJ/529/2/1 on the grounds of a petition received from a Candidate who was earlier barred from participating for not indicating her State of Origin or presenting a “Certificate of Indigeneship,” the letter read.
Continuing, it stated that, “After a very careful and exhaustive deliberation by the Board on the cancellation, it was observed that: The Hon. Minister did not draw the attention of the Board to the petitions nor was the Board given the benefit of fair hearing in line with the principle of natural justice.
“The earlier shortlisted candidates that were barred from the exercise based on non-provision of relevant documents, particularly certificate of fitness were allowed to participate by the Honourable Minister, while all candidates were given another opportunity to re-present all relevant documents to participate in the final screening. Two candidates were barred on the grounds that one of them did not indicate her state of origin in her CV or application which is expected of every application in Nigeria. Not necessarily because she did not insert “Certificate of Indigeneship” as stated in the Honourable Minister’s letter. The second candidate was barred because he did not present his Certificate of Registration of Additional Qualification with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.
When the minister was contacted, he requested a text message to be sent to him on the matter.
He had yet to respond to the text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report.