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Lagos Assembly Constitutes 5-Man Committee To Investigate Non-Functional PHCs

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Lagos State House of Assembly has constituted a five-man committee to carry out oversight functions on the reported poor state of Primary Healthcare facilities (PHCs) in the state.

Members of the House resumed plenary after the general election with a ‘Matter of Urgent Public Importance’ on issues relating to the scarcity of Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in some areas of the state.

Some of the lawmakers complained of poor facilities and a lack of enough medical personnel.

Speaker Mudashiru Obasa, who presided over the plenary, named Deputy Leader of the House, Noheem Adams as chairman of the Committee. The other members include Rotimi Abiru, Hakeem Sokunle, Owolabi Ajani and Jude Idimogu. They are to report to the House in two weeks.

Obasa noted that every ward in Lagos deserves a well-equipped PHC for the effective medical attention of residents.

He said, “This is an important issue, every area deserves medical attention, I go with those who suggested that each ward should have a functional PHC.

“Health facility need to be made very close to the people, we have some wards that are bigger than some local governments, to get everything in order, it is proper to have a committee in place, We must also ensure budgetary provisions at the local government level.

“We should call on local government chairmen to ensure that they have centres in each ward. And it should not be about grandiose and size of the structure but the provision of healthcare.”

Raising the motion, Hon. Adams said Lagos has 327 functional health care centres in Lagos stressing that these are not enough for the over 22 million people resident in the State.

He added that there was a need for more personnel to be employed as well as the building of more facilities to make the provision of basic health services seamless and affordable.

Hon. Temitope Adewale suggested the need to know who should be responsible for the provision of the primary healthcare system while advocating the need for possibly a Public Private Partnership PPP arrangement to ease the likely bottlenecks hindering the provision of health services to the public.

Noting that each ward should have a PHC, Adewale lamented that Ifako-Ijaiye with seven wards and five centres has just two that are fully functional.

Contributing, Hon. David Setonji described PHCs as the health scheme that ought to be accorded priority since it is closest to the people, “but the number we have in Lagos is very low.”

Hon. Suraj told his colleagues that issues relating to non-functioning health centres came to the fore during the electioneering campaigns.

On his part, the Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, urged the House to spend the remaining days of the current tenure on oversight relating to the issue.

Desmond Elliot called for collaboration between the local and state governments with respect to fund provision, urging the local government to make special provisions from their Internally Generated Revenue IGR for this purpose.

For Hon Gbolahan Yishawu, the brain drain issue requires more attention on how to make the sector comely for medical experts and other practitioners, in his view, the LASHMA scheme makes funds available so more PHCs should be built to complement the flagship ones built by the state government.

He, however, expressed hope that more healthcare facilities would be built and equipped as the State government already budgeted about ₦15b in 2023 for the purpose.

Hon. Tobun Abiodun suggested that there should be ways to make interested health personnel stay in their communities via what he referred to as the ‘catchment areas’ concerning qualified personnel who hail from the area and are ready to practice there.

Hon Victor Akande in order to make the task yield ample and timely results suggested that all lawmakers also go and check the PHCs in their area.

While Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu counselled that the State’s primary healthcare board be invited to furnish the house with details on the state of PHCs in Lagos.

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