Lagos Assembly Investigates Poor State of Primary Healthcare Facilities
A five-man committee of the Lagos State House of Assembly, has been setup to investigate the poor state of primary healthcare facilities across the State.
Members of the House resumed after the 2023 general election with a ‘Matter of Urgent Public Importance’ on issues relating to scarcity of Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in some areas of the State.
Some of the lawmakers complained of poor facilities and lack of enough medical personnel in most of the primary health care centres in the State.
Speaker of the House, Rt Hon.. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, who presided over the plenary, named Deputy Leader of the House, Noheem Adams as Chairman of the Committee.
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 effective medical attention of residents.
” This is an important issue, every areas deserves medical attention, I go with those who suggested that each ward should have a functional PHC.
“Health facility need 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 provision of healthcare,” he said.
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 need for more personnel to be employed as well as building of more facilities to make the provision of basic health services seamless and affordable.
Hon. Temitope Adewale (Ifako/Ijaiye 1) suggested the need to know who should be responsible for provision of primary healthcare system, while advocating the need for possibly a Public Private Partnership PPP arrangement to ease the likely bottlenecks hindering 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 (Badagry 2) 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 Tijani (Ojo 22) told his colleagues that issues relating to non-functioning health centres came to the fore during the electioneering campaigns.
On his part, 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.
In his contribution, Hon. Desmond Elliot (Surulere 1) called for collaboration between the local and state governments with respect to fund provision, urging the local government to make special provision from their Internally Generated Revenue IGR for this purpose.
For Hon Gbolahan Yishawu ( Eti-Osa 2), 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 PHC should be built to compliment 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 ( Epe 1) suggested that there should be ways to make interested health personnel stay in their communities via what he referred to as the ‘cashment areas’ concerning qualified personnel who hail from the area and are ready to practice there.
For Hon Victor Akande (Ojo 1) in order to make the task yield ample and timely result, suggested that all lawmakers also go and check the PHCs in their area.
While Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu ( Ikeja 1) counseled that the State’s primary healthcare board be invited to furnish the House with details on the state of PHCs in Lagos.