De­clare emer­gency in health sec­tor, Se­nate urges FG

The Punch - - HEALTH - Leke Baiyewu, Abuja

THE Se­nate at the ple­nary on Tues­day urged the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to de­clare a state of emer­gency in the health sec­tor.

Adopt­ing a mo­tion moved by Se­na­tor Suleiman Hunkuyi (Apc,kaduna-north), ti­tled, Ur­gent Need for the Dec­la­ra­tion of Emer­gency in the Pub­lic Health Sec­tor over the De­cay of In­fra­struc­ture, the Se­nate de­cried the “sorry state” of the sec­tor.

The law­mak­ers unan­i­mously re­solved to ask the ex­ec­u­tive to de­clare a state of emer­gency in the pub­lic health sec­tor in the coun­try.

They also re­quested the ex­ec­u­tive to pro­vide spe­cial fund­ing in the 2018 bud­get for the over­haul of one gov­ern­men­towned med­i­cal fa­cil­ity, at least, in each of the six geo-po­lit­i­cal zones of the coun­try every year.

“The Se­nate re­grets that this sorry state of af­fairs has ren­dered our hos­pi­tals and other health­care fa­cil­i­ties in­ef­fec­tive, thereby re­sult­ing in dire con­se­quences for the cit­i­zenry,” Hunkuyi said in the mo­tion.

He said the Se­nate noted, with alarm, the de­cay of in­fra­struc­ture in pub­lic health care in­sti­tu­tions in the coun­try, oc­ca­sioned by epilep­tic power and in­ad­e­quate wa­ter sup­ply, re­sult­ing in un­hy­gienic con­di­tions, which fur­ther in­creased the risk of hospi­tal ac­quired and trans­mit­ted in­fec­tions.

Hunkuyi also said, “The Se­nate fur­ther notes that crit­i­cal di­ag­nos­tic equip­ment such as MRI, CT Scan, Ul­tra­sound, et cetera, which are es­sen­tial for pro­vid­ing ef­fi­cient di­ag­no­sis are ei­ther non-func­tional or not avail­able, and cou­pled with lack of life-sav­ing med­i­ca­tions and drugs which are in­ad­e­quate and in most cases un­avail­able to dis­pense to the pa­tients who throng these fa­cil­i­ties in search of treat­ment for their var­i­ous con­di­tions.

“The Se­nate is con­cerned that this sit­u­a­tion has com­pounded the dearth of abil­ity to at­tract the re­quired cal­i­bre of health pro­fes­sion­als and skilled man­power in our pub­lic health in­sti­tu­tions, with doc­tors and other health­care pro­fes­sion­als leav­ing for greener pas­tures to pri­vate med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties abroad where they can prac­tice with ease.

“The Se­nate is fur­ther con­cerned that the sorry sit­u­a­tion in our pub­lic health in­sti­tu­tions has re­sulted in in­creased med­i­cal tourism by Nige­ri­ans, with the at­ten­dant out­flow of hard earned for­eign cur­rency to the tune of sev­eral mil­lions of dol­lars spent on med­i­cal care an­nu­ally in Europe, Amer­ica, Asia and even some African coun­tries to the detri­ment of our own health In­sti­tu­tions.”

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