FG Vows To Reposition Govt Hospitals

In line with efforts to provide quality healthcare services to Nigerians, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate has embarked on an official visit to the National Hospital, Abuja with the view to knowing the challenges and proffer solutions that would enhance better service delivery.

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Pate, who took a tour of the hospital on Saturday, October 14, 2023, informed that it was part of efforts to assess National Federal Hospitals across the country.

He explained that, he had gone to several Government hospitals since his appointment, “and today we’re here at the National Hospital in Abuja because we want to reposition hospitals to provide quality services to all Nigerians with patients at the centre of what we do”.

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In addition, he said, the visit was to make the management of the hospital know that Nigerians deserve the highest quality services that were possible within the available resources.

Highlighting his observation, the Minister said, “and we saw this hospital with the infrastructure, the equipment that it has.
Obviously, many pieces of equipment have been here for many years, some have become obsolete, and some are not functional. I have seen similar situations in other federal teaching hospitals, the maintenance of equipment can if done properly, extend the lifespan of equipment, it can reduce the downtime.

“So at this moment, we realise that a coherent approach to medical equipment maintenance is necessary. So that we get the most value for all the public investments so that our patients have the services that they require to prevent diseases, diagnose diseases, but also to treat diseases in a way that would meet their expectations and that is our North Star. So Nigerians will enjoy better quality health services in the period ahead as part of the renewed hope agenda of this administration”.

The Minister also disclosed that to improve the health sector workforce,
medical providers who are in clinical positions would be reengaged on a contract basis on the same terms as they were, “so that we don’t lose the few that are remaining. That will go a long way in reducing the stress on the remaining health workforce. retired professionals would be returned to service on a contract basis”, he said.

Visibly elated by the Minister’s visit,
Chief Medical Director, National Hospital Abuja, Prof. Sadiq Abubakar said, “the coming of the Minister has really excited all staff and it has given us hope that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. When I came on board, what I met on ground despite the fact that my other predecessors had done their best, was not what I had expected of a hospital that’s supposed to be of quaternary level as a National Hospital.

“National Hospital was created to be the epics hospital in the whole country, where even tertiary hospitals refer to. So unfortunately, you’ve come to a situation where you find that it is even struggling to be a tertiary hospital.

“So with the promise that we have gotten from the Honourable Minister I think, in no distant future, we will be able to get to the level we need to be as a quaternary hospital. Our aim actually is not just the target Nigerians alone. Our aim is to even get clients from West African countries. So once we get ourselves to that level, without even advertising, we will get there”, he said.

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