By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives yesterday passed through second reading two bills for the establishment of an orthopaedic hospital in Jos and a federal medical centre in Wase, all in Plateau state.
The two bills were sponsored by the deputy speaker of the House, Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase, who represents Wase federal constituency of Plateau state.
Presenting the bill for the establishment of an orthopaedic hospital in Jos, Wase said the Bill seeks to amend the Orthopaedic Hospitals Management Board Act Cap.O10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to provide for the establishment of the Orthopaedic Hospital Jos, Plateau State under the control of the Orthopedic Hospitals Management Board and affiliated to the Jos University Teaching Hospital to provide specialized orthopaedic treatment and medical services”.
The deputy speaker informed that Nigeria with a population of over 200 million persons has only three orthopedic hospitals as provided for by the Orthopedic Hospitals Management Board Act. “This, Mr. Speaker, Hon. Colleagues, you will agree with me, is grossly inadequate”.
He submitted that it was imperative for an additional orthopedic hospital to be established and sited in Jo’s in order to ease the burden on the three extant Orthopaedic Hospitals and to cater to the needs of the north central zone, which does not have a single Orthopaedic Centre.
“it is our belief that, when there is an additional orthopaedic hospital in Jos, it will connect neigbouring States such as; Nasarawa, the FCT, Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Benue and Taraba states thereby enabling more persons to access specialized orthopedic treatment and medical services”
On the bill for the establishment of a medical centre in Wase, the deputy speaker lamented that despite the strategic location of Wase in Plateau state with its dense and growing population, it has no tertiary health facility to provide qualitative health services for its people.
He argued that the “establishment of the Federal Medical Centre, Wase will go a long way to reduce the burden on the over-stretched Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) and other health facilities within the north central and north-eastern part of the country, and people of Bauchi, Gombe, Jos south local area and part of Taraba state can easily access services in the facility”.
He noted that his constituents are in dire need of a medical centre to fill the huge gap and address the concern of those whose future will be guaranteed by establishing a federal medical centre.
Speaking further, Wase said “it is imperative to note that Wase as a geographic entity is located to connect the southern and northern Plateau zones and also connects to several neighbouring communities such as in several states including Bauchi, Nasarawa, Gombe and Taraba states.
“Wase is also a rich economic zone harboring rich deposits of mineral resources and of recent, federal government oil exploration activities which has been attracting both local and international investors to the constituency.
“It is therefore, only logical that a place of such strategic economic, cultural and geographic significance should have a health facility that can cater to the needs of its growing population”, he explained.
He maintained that “The ongoing fight against COVID-19 is testamentary to the fact that we as a nation, need more health facilities in order to adequately cater for the needs of our ever growing population”
He also informed that research has shown that tertiary health facilities make up only 0.25% of health facilities in the country noting that “The low number of tertiary health facilities per unit population can lead to a lengthy wait for specialized care”.
Both bills were passed and referred to the House committee on health institutions and health care services for further legislative action.