By Stanley Onyekwere
Dearth of electricity and water supply are among the major challenges facing general hospitals in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), findings revealed.
Also, non patronage, poor funding, equiptment, staffing, security are among prevailing challenges in public hospitals, thereby slowing the wheel of healthcare delivery in the Territory, especially rural settlements in Abaji, Kuje and Kwali Area Councils.
Some of the hospitals worst hit include Abaji General Hospital, Rubochi General Hospital and Kwali General Hospital, which are having varying degrees of self re-enforcing difficult operating conditions over the years.
Checks received that the Rubochi General Hospital, serving over 30 communities, acute dearth of water and electricity supply are the biggest obstacles in the wheel of healthcare services delivery in the place.
The hospital with 45-beds capacity, over the years have been battling with non patronage from the people in Rubochi and environs.
Consequently, medical personnel deployed by FCT Administration to work in the public healthcare are left to work in an incredibly difficult conditions, limiting their capacity to deliver acceptable medical services to the people.
It was observed that these prevailing challenges in public hospitals in the areas visited are threatening to undermine the objective of their establishment, which is improving the living conditions of the people.
According to the Medical Director, Rubochi General Hospital, Dr.Ita Edim, the facility is greatly affected by non patronage from the people, thereby rendering the medical personnel idle.
He decried the seemingly neglected nature of the hospital in terms of electricity and water supply, negatively impacting on working conditions of the place.
Similarly, Medical Director of Abaji General Hospital, Dr. Kizaya Donatus said because of electricity problem, the hospital depend almost 90% on generators.
He disclosed that other problems facing the operations of the facility are congestion, water scarcity, insecurity, funding and welfare issues.
He equally bemoaned insufficient staff quarters, as available spaces are filled up, paucity of funds to sustain free antenatal care for pregnant women and slow pace of uncompleted building for accident and emergency rooms.
Not left out, the Agabe of Ugbada (Gwargwarda chiefdom), HRH Hussaini Agabi mam, one of the communities using the Rubochi hospital, recalled that the hospital was shutdown for sometimes, before it was reopened for operations.
He appealed for government’s timely intervention in the area of power supply and provision of drugs to the hospital.
He commended the management and staff of the Rebouchi hospital for their commitment to duty, despite the prevailing challenges facing them.
On a visit to the palace of the Ona of Abaji, HRH Adamu Baba Yunusa, appealed to the government to come to the aid of hospitals in rural areas.
Yunusa, who is the Chariman of FCT Council of Chiefs, said the hospitals are dire of expansion of existing facilities cum provision of new equipment, to meet increasing needs of the people in the area and environs.
The Monarch equally appealed for a Federal Medical Centre (FMC) to be cited in Abaji, recording high pressure from within and outside the area, given its proximity to neighbouring FCT communities, in order to ensure improved healthcare services.
Bappah spoke while on an inspection visit to health facilities in the FCT, following his redeployment from Area Council Services Secretariat (ACSS) to HHSS, to familiarize himself with the challenges of the health facilities, in order to improve the quality of their services.
He disclosed that in the 2019 budget proposal, there is a provision of solar panels to energies the Abaji general hospital.
He assured that the FCT Administration will redouble efforts to address the challenges facing the hospitals, urging health workers to be steadfast in doing whatever they have been assigned to do, despite the prevailing not too palatable situation.
The HHSS Secretary urged royal fathers and other community leaders to advocate to their subjects to patronage hospitals within their domains, so as to see changes within the shortest period of time.
In continuation of familiarisation and inspection of hospitals in FCT, the Secretary will in the next few weeks intensify as part of efforts to ensure effective healthcare delivery in the FCT.
Throughout the tour, the HHSS entourage paid traditional homeage on the monarchs, where the general hospitals are located, to seek their continuous support and encouragement for the healthcare facilities in the area