Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Anambra State House of Assembly Committee on Health has stressed the dire need for hospitals across the state to be revamped and refurbished for better healthcare delivery.
That was the crux of the matter at the budget bilateral interactions on Tuesday while the state ministry of health presented its 2020 budget implementation plan.
The lawmakers in their separate observations noted that the derelict state of the hospitals in Anambra, required urgent priority attention especially as it concerns total rehabilitation of primary healthcare centres to guarantee prompt response at the grassroots.
The chairman of the committee and member representing Aguata one state constituency Dr. Cater Dike Nnamdi Umeh noted that there was need to accord adequate attention to the primary healthcare centres vis-a-vis the spate of avoidable deaths due to inadequate personnel and facilities.
He said that there was no compromise in health related issues which was the remote reason the governor inaugurated a multi-oxygen plant in the state, stressing that the state house of assembly was bent on ensuring that the health sector was in good stead to respond to emergencies.
Obinna Chris Emeneka, the Deputy Chairman on health committee and legislator representing Anambra-east state constituency expressed worry over the escalation of quacks in the health sector, noting that some people had lost their lives to the unorthodox practices of fake medical practitioners.
Emeneka however suggested that the monitoring and enforcement officers of the state ministry of health should intensify unscheduled visits to healthcare centres in the hinterlands as well as those operating in urban areas to ascertain their level of eligibility and operational standards to reduce incidents of avoidable deaths.
Although he observed that the state ministry of health was making significant progress in the primary health sector especially as it relates to accessing the basic primary healthcare funds of the federal government, the lawmaker stressed the need for more proactive measures to upgrade primary healthcare facilities across the state.
Timothy Ifedioramma of Njikoka one state constituency also lent credence to the fact that hospitals in Anambra state required urgent surgical operations.
He said also that there was need to put mechanisms in place to check sharp practices in the health sector to curtail the menace of wrong drug prescriptions and other unwholesome practices by some medical practitioners while emphasising the need for primary healthcare services not to become white elephant projects.
However the commissioner for health, Dr. Vincent Ogochukwu Okpala, while defending the budget of the ministry, said they embarked on unannounced visits to the hospitals to ensure that personnel were on duty and also monitor quacks in the system stressing that hospitals in the state were being enumerated and registered to be able to fight quacks head on.
Though he admitted that the state of primary healthcare facilities was pathetic, he emphasized that they would be refurbished and rehabilitated for optimum services to the people of Anambra state even as he added that they would also device means to address under-staffing in the ministry of health.