The Permanent Secretary, State House, Mr Jalal Arabi, on Wednesday disclosed that the management of the State House Medical Centre would seek its commercialisation to address its dwindling fortune.
He assured the State House Medical Centre, SHMC, which currently offers free medical services to patients, would be re-positioned to offer qualitative and efficient services.
The SHMC provides medical services to the President, Vice President and their families, aides, members of staff of the State House and other entitled public servants.
According to a statement by the Deputy Director (Information), State House, Mr. Attah Esa, the Permanent Secretary was reacting to a recent media report on the state of the clinic.
THEWILL recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter, Zahra, took to her Instagram page on Saturday to decry the poor state of the hospital despite the N3 billion budgetary allocation in the 2017 budget.
Posting via @mrs_zmbi, Zahra specifically called out Arabi to provide answers as to why simple drugs as paracetamol, syringes and gloves were not available, leaving patients and staff to individually source for those items.
Using the hashtag #statehousepermsecplsanswer, she asked: “why isn’t there simple paracetamol, gloves, syringes..why do the patients/staff have to buy what they need in state house clinic?
“More than N3 billion budgeted for state house clinic and the workers there don’t have equipment to work with? Why?
“Where is the money going to? Medication only stock once since the beginning of the year? Why?” the first daughter asked.
In the statement issued on Wednesday, Arabi said the commercialisation of the centre which currently offers free medical services to patients, would boost its revenue and augment the appropriation it receives from the government in the quest for a better qualitative service.
He promised that the clinic will be repositioned to offer qualitative and efficient services.
According to him, “The Centre is the only health centre in Abuja where patients are not required to pay any dime before consultation.
“In other government hospitals in Abuja, patients are required to pay for consultation, treatment, laboratory tests and others but that has not been the case with the State House Medical Centre.
“The Centre offers free services, nobody pays a kobo for hospital card, consultations or prescriptions and this has taken a toll on the subvention the Centre receives from the government.
“We have some of the best equipment in the country. For instance, to maintain the MRI and other scan machines, we spend close to N2 million monthly. Yet we do not charge a dime for those who require MRI scans in the clinic.”
The State House Permanent Secretary said the proposed reforms would ensure that those eligible to use the Centre are NHIS compliant with their Health Maintenance Organisations or primary health provider domiciled in the clinic. The will.