..As Govt Begins Rehabilitation Of General Hospitals
By CHIOMA UMEHA
The Lagos State Government having read riot act against some health workers in the State’s Primary Health Centres, PHCs, who short-change patients by selling drugs, facilities and other services which are supposed to be provided free to the public.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who said this at the weekend at the flag-off of the 2016 Eko Free Health Mission and the Commissioning of the Nurudeen Olowopopo Health Centre, in Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) frowned at the untoward activities of the workers involved, saying such illegality would no longer be condoned.
Idris further disclosed that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had ordered the renovation of all the General Hospitals and PHCs across the state following the deplorable states of some of the hospitals.
Speaking at the event organised by Eko Club International (ECI) and AMBSAM Memorial Foundation in conjunction with the Lagos State Government, the Lagos Health Ministry boss
confirmed that some of the health workers had been sanctioned, while investigations were ongoing on others.
According to the Commissioner, the exercise would involve serious monitoring on the part of government, to ensure that the extortionists are fished out and dealt with accordingly.
Idris, who also commissioned the Nurudeen Olowopopo Health Centre donated by ECI (comprised of Lagosians in diaspora), noted that there were lots of services and facilities provided by the government free of charge to the people, but were being secretly and unlawfully commercialised by unscrupulous workers.
“Reports have come to us that a lot of our workers in Primary Health Centres are selling commodities that are provided by the government free of charge. That is wrong! I want to sound a note of warning for those of our staff who are perpetrating these activities to desist from them. We heard this last week and we have investigated it. We have got those people and they have been sanctioned. Investigation will continue and we are going to step up our monitoring activities because the government is spending so much to provide health care for our people.
“I think it is wrong for members of staff to start selling what is meant for the people. Some services are provided free of charge, but they don’t offer them free of charge,” he lamented.
Idris also said Governor Ambode had ordered the renovation of General Hospitals and PHCs in the State, saying that the renovation of the hospital would take place in batches. “All general hospitals in Lagos are to be rehabilitated. We intend to do a total of 20 in all before the end of the year. This would take place in batches as work had commenced on five of the facilities already and another batch would be rolled out soon. We have the approval of the governor on this matter.”
He also announced that the government would soon come up with plans to sensitise the public on the Health Insurance Scheme which would be implemented soon. He admonished Lagosians to avoid habits such as smoking, drinking and the use of hard drugs, which could jeopardise their health.
The Osolo of Isolo Kingdom, Oba Kabiru Agbabiaka? while praising the ECI for donating the facility, said the people would benefit from the laudable gesture. The Sole Administrator of Isolo LCDA, Hon. Oshikoya Ambibola, said the occasion marked a turnaround in the health fortunes of the people of her community.
Similarly, government at all levels have been urged former president of ECI, Idowu Popoola, to emulate the club by investing in the projects that would impact lives.