New Telegraph

Bill For Obukpa-Nsukka Medical Centre Scales Second Reading 

A bill for the establishment of Federal Medical Centre at Obukpa-Nsukka in Enugu State has passed for second reading in the House of Representatives.

The bill was sponsored by member representing Nsukka/Igboeze South federal constituency Hon. Chidi Mark Obetta.

Obetta had first moved the motion on July 27 last year, before it was rescheduled for the second reading.

The sponsor had, while leading debate on the general principles of the bill on Thursday, pointed out that the establishment of FMC Obukpa, if passed into law and assented to by the president, would provide accessible, quality and affordable tertiary healthcare services to the people of Nsukka zone and her border states.

According to him, Nsukka being a buffer zone between the north and the South East, is a major attraction to other ethnic nationalities because of easy availability of water bodies and all year-round green vegetation for farming and related agricultural activities.

“The dense population of the area put an enormous pressure on the inadequate primary and secondary health institutions with resultant medical emergency fatalities,” he stated.

The lawmaker stated that the fact that the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku- Ozalla is located at the opposite end of Enugu towards Abia/Imo States, and to the South-South region, compounds the health needs of people in the Enugu North senatorial zone.

He lamented that the implications are disastrous because, “before transporting patients on referrals to either UNTH Ituku-Ozalla, or to Enugu State University Teaching Hospital in Enugu metropolis, most of such patients are pronounced dead on arrival.”

He posited that the scenario, which has become a constant occurrence in the lives of the sick and vulnerable should not be the bane of the citizens in a 21st century Nigeria, hence the need for the establishment of a Federal Medical Centre in Obukpa.

The lawmaker contended that if the bill is passed into law and favourably assented to, the FMC would not be starting from the scratch as Obukpa was originally the site for the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, but for no justifiable reasons was relocated to Ituku-Ozalla, far away from the university community.

“Most of the hospital blocks built for the take-off of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital in Obukpa are still there and are being skeletally used as a health center by UNTH Ituku-Ozalla,” he disclosed.

According to him, the importance of the FMC will not only be for the people of the zone, but will also serve the people of Kogi, Benue, Anambra and Ebonyi Statea and border communities.

The bill was referred it to the Committee on Health Institutions for further legislative actions by Speaker Tajudeen Abbas.

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