Lagos Assembly Sets Up Committee Over Poor Primary Healthcare Facilities

A five-man committee of the Lagos State House of Assembly was on Monday saddled with the responsibility of carrying out oversight over reported poor primary healthcare facilities in the State.

Members of the House of the House resumed after the 2023 general election with a ‘Matter of Urgent Public Importance’ on issues relating to scarcity of Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in some areas of the State. In areas with the centres, some of the lawmakers complained of poor facilities and lack of enough medical personnel.

Speaker Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, who presided over the plenary, named Deputy Leader of the House, Noheem Adams as chairman of the Committee. The other members include Rotimi Abiru, Hakeem Sokunle, Owolabi Ajani and Jude Idimogu. They are to report to the House in two weeks.

Dr. Obasa noted that every ward in Lagos deserves a well-equipped PHC for effective medical attention of residents.

“I will go with those who suggest that each ward should have a PHC since health facilities should be very close to the people. We have some wards that are very big and must be taken into cognisance.

“To make sure we do justice to this motion, it is proper we have a committee in place. We must also ensure budgetary provision at the local government level.

“We should call on local government chairmen to ensure that they have centres in each ward. And it should not be about fanciful structures alone but the service,” he said.

Raising the motion, Hon. Adams said Lagos has 327 functional health care centres in Lagos stressing that these are not enough for the about 22 million people resident in the State.

He said there was need for more personnel to be employed while more facilities should be built.

Hon. Temitope Adewale suggested the need to know who should be responsible for provision of primary healthcare system.

While noting that each ward should have a PHC, he lamented that Ifako-Ijaiye with seven wards and five centres has just two that are fully functional.

Contributing, Hon. David Setonji described PHCs as the most critical since it is closest to the people, “but the number we have in Lagos is very low.”

Hon. Suraj told his colleagues that issues relating to non-functioning health centres came to the fore during the electioneering.

On his part, Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, urged the House to spend the remaining days of the current tenure on oversight relating to the issue while Desmond Elliot called for collaboration between the local and state governments in this regard.

Hon. Tobun Abiodun suggested that there should be ways to make personnel stay in communities they are deployed to while Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu called for an invitation to the State’s primary healthcare board for details on the state of PHCs in Lagos.

Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, however, expressed hope that more healthcare facilities would be built and equipped as the State government already budgeted about ₦15b in 2023 for the purpose.

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