By Nathan Nwakamma
Yenagoa, Sept. 15, 2020 The House of Representatives Committee on Federal Medical Facilities has pledged to support the upgrade of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Yenagoa, to a teaching hospital.
Rep. Pascal Obi made the pledge on Tuesday, when he led the committee to inspect projects at the facility as part of its oversight function on the 2020 fiscal year budget cycle.
He was responding to a request by the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Dennis Alagoa, who said that the centre had met the criteria of at least 500-bed capacity for an upgrade.
Obi said that beyond meeting the minimum requirements, the upgrade also required a legislation by the National Assembly (NASS).
He, therefore, urged the hospital management to liaise with NASS members from Bayelsa to sponsor a bill for the upgrade of the hospital.
Obi said: “The upgrade of the centre to a teaching hospital requires legislative action apart from meeting the minimum requirements in terms of bed capacity.
“From the way you have deployed the limited resources appropriated, we have no option than to support you.
“The first step is to get NASS members from this constituency to sponsor a bill and after the first and second readings the bill will be referred to our committee.
“And since we will be there till 2023, when the bill comes, we will do the needful.”
The lawmaker lauded the management of the hospital for the prudent utilisation of available resources to execute capital projects.
Earlier, Alagoa said that the hospital rose from 40-bed facility at inception in 1999 to 230-bed capacity in 2015 and now 530 beds under his administration.
He said that the hospital, which had 39 consultant physicians in 2015, could now boast of 105 consultants to boost its Residency Training programme.
Also, Alagoa said that the hospital’s internally generated revenue had hit N48 million monthly.
He said that the facility had achieved a 24-hour power supply, while the cost of electricity came down from N10 million monthly to N2 million.
He said that the hospital presently had five functional dialysis units.
He also spoke on the successes recorded in the management of COVID-19 cases, saying that the hospital had not recorded any deaths in its isolation centre.