House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions on Thursday urged the Federal Government to increase funding for the National Hospital Abuja (NHA) to improve service delivery.
The committee’s Chairman, Dr Paschal Obi, made the appeal when he led other members to the hospital on an oversight function to monitor progress made in some of its projects.
Obi said that more funding was required to improve the healthcare services and enable it live up to its status as a quaternary health facility, which provided an extension of tertiary care in reference to advanced levels of medicine.
According to him, although the capital allocation to the hospital in 2021 is reasonable, there is need to increase it in the 2022 budget.
“The Federal Government has been doing well, it has responded to recommendations we made after 2020 oversight activities.
“This led to the significant increase in the capital allocation or capital appropriation to this institution.
“We are also calling on the government to continue in that regard especially this institution, being a quaternary one, should have adequate funding.
“It has capacity to generate manpower that will even service other institutions both tertiary and even the secondary and because of that adequate funding is needed in National Hospital Abuja,’’ he said.
He also noted that members were not only responsible for making and passing bills or moving and adopting motions, but were also expected to ensure funds appropriated were judiciously utilised.
“That is why we are here to look into the 2020 appropriation, especially the capital vote to this institution and how it has been able to manage it because we are sure that 100 per cent release was made,’’ he said.
The Chief Medical Director, NHA, Dr Jaf Momoh, said the organisation needed more intervention in payment of outsourced services such as electricity, security and cleaners services, as well as indigent patients’ bills.
Momoh revealed that the hospital was classified as a quaternary health institution with the best trauma centre in the whole of West Africa.
“So what that means is that this centre is serving to train all post graduate doctors for the whole of West Africa sub-region. That is what it means to be quaternary, it means for you to be better than tertiary.
“So in trauma, we are better in terms of services and the facilities we have for training of manpower on ground,’’ he said.
The CMD said that the hospital was working toward improving its 450-bed capacity to 700 beds and currently building the third ultramodern intensive care unit for infectious disease patients. (NAN)