By Dipo Awojobi – The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday bemoaned the appalling state of facilities at the State healthcare centres, pointing out that hospitals in the state are lacking infrastructure and personnel.
The State lawmakers lamented that both Primary Healthcare Centres and General Hospitals as well as shortage of healthcare personnel across Lagos State are in worrisome state.
Chairman of the House Committee, Hon. Olusegun Olulade, observed that despite the efforts of the past and current governors in the state, the hospitals in the state lack adequate infrastructure and personnel, especially doctors and nurses.
Olulade stated during a visit to the state Ministry of Health by the Committee on Monday that almost all the hospitals in the state, including the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), lack adequate equipment, facilities and personnel.
He said further that the ministry should work with pharmacists in the state to ensure that patients do not buy drugs outside the hospital premises, as he said that some of those drugs were fake products.
“We are aware that some doctors refer patients to some of these pharmaceutical stores. We must provide drugs for our patients within few hours and our findings have shown that this is possible.
“Also, I want to say that the Ikorodu General Hospital is being encroached by land grabbers, we must put a stop to this. We must think of providing hospitals for the people in rural areas as there is a huge movement of people from urban areas to rural areas.
“In addition, the equipment we saw in our hospitals are obsolete. Some of them were the ones provided by the government of Alhaji Lateef Jakande and that of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” he said.
The lawmaker also condemned the situation of the laundry section of some of the general hospitals visited, adding that this could increase communicable diseases.
Olulade also lamented the poor electricity in the hospitals, which he said was due to poor funding.
He however, commended workers in the general hospitals in the state as he said that they were always at their duty posts each time he paid unscheduled visit to the hospitals.
The lawmaker also frowned at the contractors, who he said collected monies and absconded rather than doing what was expected of them in the hospitals.
Olulade specifically drew the attention of the Commissioner and others at the meeting to the poor state of facilities at Badagry General Hospital, Ifako/Ijaiye General Hospital, Agbowa General Hospital, Ketu/Ejinrin Healthcare Centre, Epe General Hospital and Ibeju-Lekki Hospital amongst others.
In his response, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris thanked the Health Committee of the House for the visit.
Idris stated that personnel is a major problem in the healthcare sector in the state and added that the state bears the brunt of the problems in the country due to over-population.
“The budget of the health sector has always increased and up to year 2014, about 80 to 85% of the budget goes for payment of salaries of personnel.
“During the time of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the issue of infrastructure was addressed and during the tenure of former governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, we tried to increase the budget of capital expenditure,” he said, adding that the ministry spends a lot of money on personnel, which is why capital is inadequate.
He explained that there a lot of activities in the health sector that are not visible to the people, and that the state would need to train a lot of its personnel so that they could manage the infrastructure in the hospitals.
The commissioner also said that once the primary healthcare centres were developed, there would be little pressure on the general hospitals, while promising to further discuss with the Governor on the need to make the healthcare sector in the state better.