Meeting the basic needs of health workers (4) Taking care of health workers leads to improved care for patients

8 January, 2023

Thank you Neil for sharing Dr Tedros’s message  and for your comments. In 2004, HRI Global introduced the 12-Pillar Clinical governance Programme in Nigeria that is suitable for LLMICs with weak health sector and systems, and also applicable elsewhere in the world. We defined it as an overarching framework for ‘Protecting patients, supporting practitioners in tandem’ I.e. emphasizing the importance of enabling empowered and incentivized practitioners do that they can protect patients through person Centered care.

Many positive outcomes soon followed the successful implementation of the Programme on both public owned and private health facilities, including i) No health worker strikes for years ii) reversal of internal brain drain whereby consultants moved their practice from the tertiary federal owned hospitals to the lesser level general hospitals owned by the States. iii) the state-employed health workers salary was increased to match that of their colleagues employed by the (richer) Federal Govt in teaching hospitals. This increased Net take-home pay stopped the drain of staff from the state service to the federal service. 

We showed that taking care of health workers led to improved care and outcome for patients. 

Joseph Ana

HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Senior Fellow/Medical Consultant at the Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria, established by HRI Global (former HRIWA). He is a member of the World Health Organisation’s Technical Advisory Group on Integrated Care in primary, emergency, operative, and critical care (TAG-IC2). As the Cross River State Commissioner for Health, he led the introduction of the Homegrown Quality Tool, the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance Programme, in Nigeria (2004-2008). For sustainability, he established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria. His main interest is in whole health sector and system strengthening in Lower, Low and Middle Income Countries (LLMICs). He has written six books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance programme, suitable for LLMICs, including the TOOLS for Implementation. He served as Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association’s Standing Committee on Clinical Governance (2012-2022), and he won the Nigeria Medical Association’s Award of Excellence on three consecutive occasions for the innovation. He served as Chairman, Quality & Performance, of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act 2014. He is member, National Tertiary Health Institutions Standards Committee of the Federal Ministry of Health. He is the pioneer Secretary General/Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers. ( Email: info AT and jneana AT