By Femi Ogunshola
Abuja, Nov. 3, 2020 The Association of Chief Medical Directors (ACMDs), has urged the National Assembly to help facilitate procurement of modern medical equipment to stop brain drain.
Dr Jeff Momoh, the Chairman of the association made the appeal during a budget defence before the House Committee on Health Institutions on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the request if acceded would also stop medical tourism in the country.
Naija247news reports that all the CMDs of federal government owned hospitals were at the budget defence and were represented by their chairman, Momoh, the CMD of National Hospital Abuja (NHA).
He said, acquiring state of the art medical equipment was germane to retaining manpower, and stressed the need to curb medical tourism to help in the growth of the country’s health sector.
Momoh said that money released in the 2020 appropriation could not purchase some of the modern medical equipment, adding that it could leverage on a Private Partnership Projects to help.
He said that 2020 had been a challenging year in the battle against COVID-19, while paying tribute to all health workers for outstanding performance in the face of COVID-19 pandemic across the country.
Momoh commended the increase on Outsource Service from N3 billion to N5 billion in the 2021 budget proposal, while expressing hope that the committee would further mark it up.
He decried lack of hospital maintenance culture across government owned hospital in the country, adding that most public tertiary hospitals were now dilapidated with little or no infrastructure.
“An average hospital should have 700 bed space but we have those with 400, our personnel have moved out of the country to a greener pasture, so we need a replacement via recruitment.
“This lacuna is not good for us, we cannot afford not to engage others and there is need to bridge gap in manpower,” he said.
The CMD of the National Hospital said that an average hospital spent N30 million to N40 million on electricity, adding that its internal generated revenue could not support such outrageous bill, while calling on the committee to intervene.
Rep Pascal Obi, Chairman, House Committee on Health Institutions, said that the committee was aware of the challenges occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic and how it had affected the country’s economy.
He commended health workers across the country for the sacrifice and dedication to caring for patients since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, we recently embarked on oversight function across our health institutions and we are aware of the challenges, but to whom much is given, much is expected.
He said that it was expedient for teaching hospitals across the country to improve on their internally generated revenue.
Obi commended government owned hospitals in the North West, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki Teaching Hospital among others.
He said the committee on oversight function was yet to complete its job in North East and North Central, adding that as soon as it was completed it would give its verdict on the best hospital.