Infrastructural Decay: Senate Wants Emergency Declared in Health Sector

Benue, Senate, Scholarship Board

Abuja – The Senate has urged the Executive Arm to declare a state of emergency in the country’s public health sector over decay in the sector’s infrastructure.

The Senate also called the Executive to provide special funding for the overhaul of at least one government-owned tertiary healthcare facility in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country.

This was even as Senate President Bukola Saraki vowed that the red chamber would ensure adequate budgetary provision for primary healthcare in the 2018 appropriation.

The resolutions followed the unanimous adoption of a motion by Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, (APC, Kaduna).

The lawmaker in his presentation expressed worry over increasing decay of infrastructure in the country’s healthcare institutions.

He said the sorry state of affairs in government owned hospitals and other healthcare facilities had rendered their services ineffective, resulting in dire consequences for the citizenry.

He argued that the situation is further exacerbated by epileptic power and inadequate water supply, which increased the risk of hospital transmitted infections.

Hunkuyi added that critical diagnostic equipment essential for providing efficient diagnosis were either non-functional or not available.

He stressed that the situation failed to attract the required calibre of health professionals and skilled manpower to the public health institutions.

“With doctors and other healthcare professionals leaving for greener pastures to private medical facilities or even abroad where they can practice with ease.

“The situation in our public health institutions has resulted in increased medical tourism by Nigerians.

“This is with attendant outflow of foreign currency to the tune of several millions of dollars spent on medical care annually in Europe, America, Asia and some African countries to the detriment of our health institutions.

“Recently, UNICEF in its latest statistics on child mortality ranked Nigeria second highest in the world with losses of about 2300 under-five years olds and 145 women of child bearing age daily,” Hunkuyi said.

Debating the motion, Senator Abdullahi Sabi (APC, Niger), opined that the state of facilities in the country’s public health sector called for worry.

According to him, over the years we talk about medical tourism and Nigeria had continued witness capital flight.

“You will agree with me that Nigerians are doing well outside and the question that rises is why are they not coming back.

“If we provide solutions to reasons why they are not coming back, then we can attract them.

“There is need to promote primary healthcare because something that can be tackled with right personnel and equipment eventually turns out to be chronic,” Sabi said.

Saraki, who presided over the session, harped on the need for the Federal Government to ensure compliance with the provision of the National Health Act.

Saraki further disclosed that the Senate, while working on the 2018 budget, would ensure adequate funding for primary healthcare services in the country.

The post Infrastructural Decay: Senate Wants Emergency Declared in Health Sector appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.

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Author: Ahmed Musa