Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) Minister Malam Bello Muhammad, on Tuesday lamented that lack of funds has affected the passion of the administration to meet up with its ambition for a significant leap in health care delivery.
Muhammad disclosed this when the FCT Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Chairman, Dr. Achonwa Chiedozie, led the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the forthcoming NMA Annual General/Scientific Conference on a courtesy call on him.
He expressed readiness to continue to work with the Association towards the improvement of health care delivery in the FCT.
The Minister indicated that the strategy of the administration is to encourage private sector investments in the area by creating enabling environment and facilitating ease of doing business.
Muhammad revealed that some private sector-driven specialist hospitals are coming on-stream in the FCT health care landscape, which he hopes would reduce health tourism from Nigeria.
He expressed his commitment towards the establishments of a Centre for Infectious Diseases in Abuja as well as a world class rehabilitation centre for victims of drug abuse.
Bello lamented that the incidence of drug abuse has spilled beyond youths to adults, women and event mothers, whom he described as the bedrock of the home.
According to a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary, Cosmas Uzodinma, the minister allayed the concern of private medical practitioners over multiple taxation that the FCT Internal Revenue Service would work for a friendlier tax regime for businesses that centre on critical areas of human services.
Chiedozie said Medical doctors in the Federal Capital Territory are satisfied with the progress the administration is recording in the health sector.
He was delighted that the FCT Minister had delivered on the pledges he made to the current executives of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) when the executives visited him two years ago.
Briefing the Minister on the conference scheduled for Abuja, April 29 to May 6, this year, the Chairman recalled the Minister’s pledge to open two new hospitals every year to keep pace with the demographic change and health care needs of the Territory. Others include; rectifying the cases of Doctors affected by placement on improper salary structures, capacity building and across board improvement in various departments of health care institutions in the FCTA.
According to the NMA Chairman, “we have observed the sure and steady delivery on these promises, as we have witnessed the opening of two new hospitals last year and are very hopeful that same will be done this year.” Dr. Chiedozie commended the FCT Administration because of increase in the number of FCT Health institutions that have been accredited for residency trainings. This, he described as an eloquent indication of significant improvement in the standards of these institutions in the life of this Administration.
His words, “the growth in the number of hospitals has significantly increased the number of bed-spaces and positively impacted on health care delivery in the FCT, and for which we want to commend your efforts, Honourable Minister Sir.”
According to the Dr. Chiedozie, a major highlight of the forthcoming conference is a plan by the national body to undertake a two-day free medical outreach – Monday 30th April and Tuesday, May 1st – involving surgery and consultations, in Abaji General Hospital for a targeted 500 patients. Over 1000 Medical Doctors, he said, would be converging in Abuja from across the 36 states of the federation, abroad as well as the diaspora.
The Association’s Chairman lauded its partnerships with the FCT Administration which has yielded positive results as the Association has trained a total of 150 health assistants selected from various Primary Health Care Centres in the FCT on neonatal resuscitation. They also have a plan to train a further 65.
In the same vein, it has adopted the Dabi-Bako Primary Health Care in Kwali Area Council for the purpose of free medical consultations. Members visit the Centre every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, to give 3 hours of consultations. It also plans to increase the number in due course.