FG To Commercialise State House Medical Centre

Photo credit: nigerianmedinterns.com

The management of the State House Medical Centre is seeking to be commercialised to offer qualitative and efficient services.

The hospital currently offers free medical services to patients at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Permanent Secretary, State House, Mr Jalal Arabi, revealed the decision on Wednesday in a statement signed by the Deputy Director of Information at the State House, Atta Esa.

According to the statement, Arabi was reacting to a recent report on the state of the medical centre.

He said the management would “among other things seek the commercialisation of the centre to boost its revenue and augment the appropriation it receives from the government in the quest for a better qualitative service”.

The Permanent Secretary noted that the hospital is the only health centre in Abuja where patients are not required to pay for consultation.

He compared the facility to other government hospitals in the nation’s capital, saying the free services they offer were already affecting the grant they receive from the government.

“In other government hospitals in Abuja, patients are required to pay for consultation, treatment, laboratory tests and others but that has not been the case with the State House Medical Centre.

“The centre offers free services; nobody pays a kobo for hospital card, consultations or prescriptions and this has taken a toll on the subvention the centre receives from the government.

“We have some of the best equipment in the country. For instance, to maintain the MRI and other scan machines, we spend close to N2 million monthly; yet we do not charge a dime for those who require MRI scans in the clinic,” Arabi said.

He was, however, hopeful that the decision would ensure that those eligible to use the clinic are NHIS compliant whose Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) are domiciled in the centre.

‘‘We have already created a NHIS desk at the clinic where patients will be required to authenticate their profile. If their HMOs are registered in other hospitals they will be required to transfer to the centre.

‘‘This is another way through which we can boost revenue generation at the hospital and this has started yielding results because the stark reality is there is no free lunch anywhere,” he said.

Permanent Secretary Explains State House Medical Centre Budget

BudgetThe Permanent Secretary of the State House, Mr Jalal Arabi, has reacted to criticisms that the 3.219 billion naira budget for the State House Medical Center is over bloated.

Mr Arabi appeared before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs and the House Committee on Special Duties, to defend the 2016 budget appropriation to the state house.

Having given a breakdown of some of the key areas of the budget before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs, the amount allocated to the medical centre attracted most criticism. The same questions he faced at the House of Representatives Committee on Special Duties.

The Permanent Secretary explained that the State House, among others, extends to Marina and the Dordan Barracks in Lagos and most of the infrastructure in the places are calling for attention and need to be made to function optimally, hence the need for increase in budgetary allocation to the State House.

He said that the improvement of the medical center will propel it to serve as a center of excellence and reduce medical tourism.

He added that the medical center does not charge fees for its services and hence does not generate revenue for itself.

The committees are expected to take their findings to the Senate and House of Reps hoping that the budget will be passed.