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Members of the House of Representatives were in shock on Monday after undertaking a facility tour of the State House Medical Centre, Abuja, describing its state as “quite disturbing.”


An ad hoc committee of the House, after the visit, also said the clinic needed urgent rehabilitation and equipping else it would no longer be advisable to offer medical services there.

The committee, which is chaired by a member of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Aliyu Magaji, was mandated by the House to investigate the centre after President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha, complained that services at the facility had collapsed.

The House is investigating how the N10.9bn the health facility reportedly collected for its services between 2015 and 2017 was spent.

Speaking shortly after the three-hour facility tour, Magaji stated, “It’s quite disturbing what we saw. We went round the place and I can now understand what the First Lady met when she came here.

“This is a very old facility and if it’s going to answer its name, something drastic must be done. For it to be called State House Medical Centre, it’s quite disturbing. We will do our best and submit our report.

“This is just like every other local government’s health centre that we know. There is nothing interesting about it. I commend the personnel for working in this condition.”

Another member of the committee, Mrs. Ayo Omidiran, was alarmed and constantly expressed disappointment as the members moved from department to department.

She exclaimed, “This is not even a healthy place for anybody to work, let alone bringing in patients to receive medical attention.

“How can you have a clinic that has an empty pharmacy? Look at the place they call medical store, there is nothing there other than a few free supplies.

“This is a medical centre? There are leaking roofs everywhere and the painting on the walls is peeling off.

“Apart from the Eye Unit, all the other areas here are in a terrible state.”

The members found out that some key machines, including X-ray and dental machines, had failed in the last three years.

They told the committee that the X-ray machine was bought in 2002 and now broke down frequently.

According to the personnel, an Ultrasound machine installed at the centre does not function regularly because “there are no UPS to back up power supply.”

At the Dialysis unit, the members were told that the machines would have to be serviced after treating one patient before another patient could be admitted.

“There are only two machines that are being managed. After treating one patient, we have to get technicians to repair the machines before we admit another patient,” one member of staff informed the committee.

The PUNCH learnt that following the facility tour, the committee had resolved to summon the Permanent Secretary, State House, Abuja, Mr. Jalal Arabi, again for further questioning.

Arabi had last week defended the poor state of the centre when he appeared before the committee in Abuja.

He had claimed that lack of adequate funding was the main problem of the clinic.

Arabi had denied that the clinic received N10.9bn since 2015, saying that the amount budgeted for the centre was N3.5bn.

Aisha had summed up her findings at the centre this way, “Few weeks ago, I was sick as well. They advised me to take the first flight out to London; I refused to go. I said I must be treated in Nigeria because there is a budget for an assigned clinic to take care of us. If the budget is N100m, we need to know how the budget is spent.

 “Along the line, I insisted they call Aso Clinic to find out if the X-ray machine is working. They said it was not working. They didn’t know I was the one that was supposed to be in that hospital at that very time.

“I had to go to a hospital that was established by foreigners 100 per cent. What does that mean?

“So, I think it is high time we did the right thing. If something like this can happen to me, there is no need for me to ask the governors’ wives what is happening in their states.

“This is Abuja and this is the highest seat of government, and this is the Presidential Villa.”

She reportedly addressed a two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.



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