By Egena Sunday Ode
The State House management said Thursday that it plans to restrict access of persons currently entitled to its medical facility at Asokoro, Abuja.
According to the authorities, the decision is informed by the reduction in budgetary allocation to the facility.
Established to provide health care services to the President and Vice President, as well as their families and members of staff working in the Presidential Villa, the facility currently caters for no less than 32,000 patients.
This, the management said, “is not sustainable.”
Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, said the authorities were determined to eliminate those he described as “hangers-on” and extend services to only those who are officially entitled to access the health care facility .
He stated this in his remarks at the opening of a two-day workshop on service improvement in the hospital,
Umar noted a lot of water had passed under the bridge in the past hence the renewed zeal to bring back the clinic to its original status of efficient service to those who are entitled to access the facility.
His words, “We are going to trim down the number of unentitled people. Unentitled bringing constraints to us, bringing issues, that’s all. If you have five children in your house and neighbours send like 20 every evening to come, your pot will not be enough. That’s what we are saying.
“This will assist us to look at those areas requiring improvement. The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.”
The Permanent Secretary also pointed out that, “the Clinic used to be a yardstick for performance measurement in the medical enclave and pride of the highly trained and experienced personnel working there.
“However, over the recent years, it was observed that services rendered at the clinic to the privileged few, suffered noticeable decline to almost zero service delivery. This resulted to a mockery of the facility and loss of confidence by its customers on its ability to render effective service.
“In an effort to upturn this ugly trend and revive its past glory, the State House Management reversed the Medical Centre profile granted the facility, to its original status of Clinic, in order to limit the number of patients it handles and also maintain the original purpose it was created for. “
Earlier in her address, the Servicom National Coordinator, Mrs Nnennna Akajemeli said a survey conducted at the clinic identified a shortage of staff, especially doctors, and frequent power outages among others were observed at the State House clinic.
This development, she said, seriously affects the waiting time in the delivery of service, adding that recurrent power failure affects sensitive machines that require constant power supply in the clinic.
Mrs Akajemeli said the two-day workshop was aimed to alleviate the shortfall in service delivery at the clinic.