The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says it has significantly improved healthcare services and infrastructure in the FCT in barely four years of the current administration.
Mr Adamu Bappah, the Secretary, FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat, said this at the end of a tour of FCT health facilities at the Gwagwalada General Hospital on Monday.
Bappah pledged the administration’s commitment and doggedness to provide the needed manpower, equipment and infrastructure to take FCT healthcare services to the next level.
The tour, which was the continuation of the January hospital visits by the secretary, took the team to FCT Health Insurance Scheme office, Abuja Central Medical Stores, FCT Agency for the Control of AIDS as well as Primary Health Care Board and Public Health Department.
Others included the 10-bed Jiwa Clinic, which has been completed, the abandoned over 200-bed Utako District Hospital, 220-bed Gwarinpa District Hospital and the 60-bed Gwagwalada Cottage Hospital.
On why construction was slow at the Gwarinpa hospital and poor condition of the Utako health facility, Bappah said the FCTA would fix all the challenges in the health sector.
He said: “The Gwarinpa District Hospital project is ongoing; the matter on Utako District Hospital project is in court so I don’t want to comment on that.
“But we have to work together with the works department to find out what is the real position there and we will advise the FCT Minister appropriately on what should be done about that.
“It (Utako hospital) is housing people illegally and the place is unkempt, plus the collapsed building there; anybody who attempts to go there, it will be a very big disaster.
“We have been talking about abandoned, completed structures and those that have been completed but have not been in use.
“So, I think I will also advise the Assistant Director, Works, to check with the list of buildings that have been given to us if the Utako one is among them; then we know which position it is and what will be done.”
Commenting more on the Gwarinpa hospital, the Secretary said: “When they came in, they spent about two years before they could access and start doing anything. We had problems with the indigenes and on our own part, the FCTA.
“After crossing that hurdle, they are there, working. I think it is appreciably okay since the work is going on,” he said.
On the Jiwa clinic, which is yet to begin operations, he explained that though water was running there, there was need for permanent water supply – with the water storage.
He added that the issue of light was another problem, though it is connected to solar panel, but at least, there was need for national grid step down into that building so that it can be servicing the equipment there.
Bappah said on the issue of manpower, it would have to wait till the next budgetary circle.
“The issue of staff is really beyond my competence; the last time we visited the hospitals, we have seen the need to ensure that we employ more staff, and may be those that are on a temporary basis, we make them permanent.
“But you know it has to go through the issue of budget, to ensure they know how much they have on ground, to also take stock of how many we need to fill up the gaps.
“So it’s a very herculean tasks but all the same, we are trying our best. May be it cannot be in this year’s budget.
“We are going to work toward 2020 now, with the hope that government will give us all the necessary encouragement to bring up these things and move forward.
“Government is a continuum; this building started in 2011, they left something for us to come and continue, so if we are not able to complete it and leave, next government will come and continue,” he said.