Home News Latest FG to commercialise Nigeria’s State House Clinic

FG to commercialise Nigeria’s State House Clinic

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The management of the State House Medical Centre, SHMC, which currently offers largely free medical services to patients at Ask Rock, Nigeria’s seat of government, has said the hospital will be commercialised to offer qualitative and efficient services.

This was revealed Wednesday by the Permanent Secretary, State House, Jalal Arabi.

Mr. Arabi who was reacting to a recent media report on the state of the medical centre, said the management will “among other things seek the commercialisation of the centre to boost its revenue and augment the appropriation it receives from the government in the quest for a better qualitative service”.

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Daily Trust newspapers had on Tuesday reported how patients are groaning over lack of drugs in the clinic.

The report said the last time drugs were supplied in the clinic was in April this year.

Also, a series of posts attributed to one of the daughters of President Muhammadu Buhari, Zahra, on her Instagram page lamented the situation in the clinic.

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However, Mr. Arabi in a statement signed by Atta Esa, Deputy Director, Information at the State House said the clinic “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 Pe5rmanent secretary said.

Mr. Arabi said the proposed reforms will ensure that those eligible to use the Centre are NHIS compliant with their Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) or primary health provider domiciled in the clinic.

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‘‘We have already created a NHIS desk at the clinic where patients will be required to authentic their profile. If their HMOs are registered in other hospitals they will be required to transfer to the centre.

‘‘This is another way through which we can boost revenue generation at the hospital and this has started yielding results because the stark reality is there is no free lunch anywhere,’’ he said.

The permanent secretary also dismissed allegations of misappropriation and withholding of funds meant for medical supplies in the centre.

‘‘I know people will insinuate and give all sorts of reasons because they don’t ask but it will be foolhardy and madness for anybody in his senses to defraud a medical centre of a kobo and toying with people’s lives.

‘‘No sane person will do that, so the truth of the matter is that the hospital is being run on subvention and appropriation; if it comes we pile the drugs; but the truth is the drugs are always overwhelmed by the number of people who use the centre, because it is not controlled,’’ he said.

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