The Alex-Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (AE-FETHA) has inaugurated an electronic data-capturing device against staff absenteeism and lateness to work.
Dr Emeka Ogah, Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Hospital, disclosed at the inauguration of the multimillion naira equipment in Abakaliki that it would serve as a ‘staff auditing device’.
Ogah said that the device would capture all staff of the hospital when they resumed and closed from work daily.
“The device will help us determine those who come late to work, those who abscond from duties and ultimately improve service delivery.
“The hospital’s management decided to implement such measure when I assumed office in 2015, but it unfortunately did not materialise.
“We are happy to presently launch the device and could have done so in January 2020, but for some unforeseen constraints and the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
The chief medical director allayed the fears that capturing of staff by the device would negate the observance of social distancing measures occasioned by the disease.
“This is a face-capturing device, which does not require contact by the person being captured or pressing of buttons.
“The person being captured will stand at a distance that will enable the device to capture his face and other personal data at the mention of his name.
“Writing names on the attendance register by staff will encourage clustering, as the device will capture staff within five seconds,” he said.
Mr Azubike Okonkwo, Director of Administration in the hospital, said the device could factually record staff attendance and could not be manipulated.
“It eliminates incidences of staff filling the attendance register for others and allegations of victimisation.
“It is not meant to punish any staff as defaulters in attendance to work will face relevant disciplinary panels,” he said.
Okonkwo noted that the device would be adequately maintained, with the hospital procuring energy conservers to check power surge, while securing necessary guarantees from the manufacturers.”
Prof. Umeora Odidika, a top management staff of the hospital lauded the initiative but said that the hospital’s management would consult with the relevant unions, to ensure effective management of the device.
“There might be incidences where doctors and nurses on emergency will not go through the main entrance to be captured and consultants who might be on essential duties,” he said.
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