Unruly personnel, power outage, bed with no mattress at Aso Rock clinic, Abuja government hospitals

Unruly personnel, power outage, bed with no mattress at Aso Rock clinic, Abuja government hospitals

By Gbenga Odunsi, Abuja

 Lately, there has been controversies surrounding the ill-equipped Aso clinic, and allocations budgeted for it. The health budget for year 2017 has also sparked reactions from many pundits who claim that the Buhari led administration has failed to prioritize the health conditions of the Nigeria citizenry.

In this piece, AljazirahNigeria x-rays the appalling state of Aso clinic, as well as government-owned hospitals in Abuja. Findings revealed that hospitals in Abuja have been reduced to consoling centres, rather than treatment centres.

The wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, recently criticized the management of Aso Rock Clinic.

“I called the Aso Clinic to find out if they have an X-Ray machine, they said it’s not working

“In the end, I had to go to a hospital owned and operated by foreigners 100 percent

“There is a budget for the Hospital and if you go there now, you will see a number of constructions going on but they don’t have a single syringe there. What is the purpose of the buildings if there are no equipments there to work with?”

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“You can imagine what happens across the states to governors wives if this will happen to me in Abuja,” she said.

The state house clinic is a clinic that provides medical services to the President, Vice-President and their families, aides, members of staff of the State House and other entitled public servants. It is also a training facility for house officers and other medical personnel.

Billions voted for Aso Rock Clinic? Who is using it 

In 2016, a whooping 3.bn was budgeted for the state house clinic. In contrast, the country’s 16 federal government-owned teaching hospitals individually only got a fraction of the allocation made for the presidential clinic.

In 2016, the clinic gulped a whooping sum of 2.8bn while it consumed a total of 137.9m in 2015. In 2014, N862.9m was allocated to this same clinic, while a heartbreaking sum of N619.9m was budgeted for it in 2013.

In total, between 2013 to 2017, the state house clinic received a mind-blowing figure with little or nothing to show for it.

 Unruly personnel at Aso Clinic

In an exclusive interaction with AljazirahNigeria, an asthmatic patient who does not want to be mentioned who visited the Aso clinic for treatment lamented on the poor and unfortunate state of the clinic. He described the clinic as a mere consultation room with no drugs and facilities to examine patients.

He added by saying there were more doctors than drugs and machines in the clinic. He described the staff as lazy, saucy and disrespectful.

“I went to Aso clinic for treatment, I have been suffering from asthma for years, but I have a private hospital where I go for treatment. But on this day, I decided to go to Aso clinic since I work under the presidency.

“On arriving the clinic, I encountered saucy and ill-mannered staff, who, by nature of their job, failed to realize that health is wealth. I was told there was no light to power their computers to check my record on their database. the clinic had no alternative power supply. I waited for two hours before I was attended to.

“A doctor or mere consultant attended to me and gave me prescriptions. I queried why he gave me prescriptions instead of the drugs.

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“We do not have those drugs here – the doctor replied me. Let me not forget to say that the ECG machine in the clinic is an old model,” he added.

 Government hospitals in Abuja lack bed and drugs

Findings by AljazirahNigeria revealed that government hospitals in Abuja lack drugs, bed, and facilities.

A nursing mother at the Wuse general hospital, in an exclusive interaction with AljazirahNigeria, revealed to our correspondent how her 2-month old baby was left unattended to due to lack of bed. The baby was neither treated nor given first aid treatment.

“My two-month-old baby developed fever overnight. Early in the morning, I rushed him to Gwarinpa general hospital, but on getting there, I was turned back.

Without any sympathy for my sick baby, I was bluntly told there was no bed to admit my baby on”.

A nurse at the Maitama general hospital said, “The money they are to use to equip the hospital and make it better is being used for big jeeps and all luxury items while innocent Nigerians are dying”.

“Since this administration came to power, no new medical equipment had been added to the old ones being used for nearly two years”.

At the hospital, some patients were seen lying on bare floor while the emergency unit of the hospital could only boast of ten beds.

According to a report by IndependentNg, at the General Hospital Life Camp, an angry sister to a patient, Thomas, who was rejected for lack of space in the afternoon, was seen screaming and raining abuses at both the hospital and the government.

“They can’t even allow us to get just small treatment. They don’t even care to know. They told us to leave and go to a private clinic. God will judge everyone because this is wickedness,” she wailed, the report stated.

Inadequate Budget Allocations

In 2013, the Federal government budgeted 270 billion Naira for the health sector, representing 5.5 percent of the federal budget.

In 2014, the federal government budgeted N216.40 billion representing 4.4 percent of the national budget, this marked a 20.73 percent drop in the actual value of the health budget and in its share of the national budget

In the 2015 budget, allocation to Ministry of Health increased to N237,075,742,847 (6.24% of N4,498,363,957,158) but fell in 2016 to N221,712,151,746 (4.64% N6,077,680,000,000).

In 2016, N226, 536,924,598 was allocated to all hospitals and tertiary medical institutions in the country. There are 21 teaching hospitals and 20 medical centers across the country.

These medical centers and teaching hospitals got N226,536,924,598 and N215,605,735,090.00 in the 2015 and 2016 budgets respectively.

Similarly, the 2017 budget has N51 billion (representing 2.78 percent) proposed for capital projects, a situation the chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Lanre Tejuosho, decried as “disproportionate.”

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