Senate summons minister over state of teaching hospitals

Senate summons minister over state of teaching hospitals

- The Senate expressed concern over Nigeria's deteriorating healthcare system

- Lawmakers noted that hospitals were not getting enough funding

- Senator Bukola Saraki identified corruption as one of the causes of the problem

The Senate has summoned the minister of health, Isaac Adewole, over the state of the healthcare facilities in the country’s teaching hospital.

Premium Times reports that the minister's summon was as a result of the resolution made after a deliberation on a motion titled ‘Alarming report on poor quality of services in Nigerian Teaching Hospitals.

David Umaru who is the lawmaker representing Niger East led the motion lamenting the “cases of poor electricity supply, obsolete medical equipment, decayed infrastructure and other factors which, he said, have made it extremely difficult for Nigerian teaching hospitals to provide tertiary healthcare to patients with complex ailments such as cancer, kidney failure etc”.

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He noted that this is “forcing patients to sleep on bare floors, plastic mats and other unhygienic conditions that put them at the risk of contracting other ailments.”

Gbenga Ashafa, in his contribution, blamed the poor healthcare facilities on lack of funding. The lawmaker expressed worry that patients now travel long distance “at very high cost due to absence of the requisite medical equipment for such services within their vicinity.”

Magnus Abe urged the federal government to look at the structures of the hospitals as chief medical directors “are not given opportunities to do the jobs they were appointed to do because their activities are being dictated by people in higher authorities.”

Senator Bukola Saraki said the minister needed to appear before the Senate as soon as possible to address these problems.

He said: “We need to address this issue where you have patients lying on the floor and waiting for hours to be attended to. And it all come down, as we rightly said, to corruption. It means the funds are not being used for what they are allocated for, the funds will be used for something else.

“We also need to strengthen the Auditor-General’s office. Until we begin to oversee monies being sent to MDAs, we’ll continue to have these issues. How inadequate can funding be that there is no light, patients are lying on the floor and meanwhile, they are getting funding and allocation every year. And they are also getting revenue.” had reported that Professor Adewole expressed sadness with the way doctors flee the country in search of greener pastures abroad.

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Adewole said this on Thursday, May 2, days after his colleague in charge of labour, Chris Ngige, claimed Nigeria had enough doctors to handle medical cases in the country.

Ngige had also declared that doctors willing to travel abroad can do so. He, however, later claimed he was misquoted. ( -> We have upgraded to serve you better.

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