The House of Representatives and stakeholders in the health sector on Wednesday 9th march unanimously agreed that the federal government should establish an Orthopaedic hospital in Jos and a federal medical centre, Wase all in Plateau state.
The resolution was taken at the public hearing organised by the House committee on health institutions on a bill for the establishment of Federal Medical Centre, Wase and a bill to amend the Orthopaedic Hospitals Management Board Laws to provide for the establishment of Orthopaedic Hospital in Jos.
While given a synopsis of the bills,the sponsor and Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase said he initiated the bills for the establishment of the medical centre and the Orthopaedic hospital to bring quality medical care closer to the people.
He said treatment of Orthopaedic condition is generally very expensive hence people resort to patronising traditional bone setters, which always result in complications.
Represented by Hon. Komsol Alphonsus Longgap, Wase lamented that people of the Plateau south senatorial zone, particularly those living in remote villages have difficulty in accessing tertiary health services due to economic, transportation and geographic barriers.
Speaking in favour of the bills, the Plateau state government represented by the commissioner for health, Dr. Nimlong Lar Ndam said the establishment of the Federal Medical Centre, Wase will help bring tertiary health services to the people of Plateau south senatorial zone and other neighbouring states.
“Wase is made of 20 electoral wards with 62 health facilities both public and private, hence the idea for the establishment of the Federal Medical Centre, Wase us a step in the right direction as this institution will serve as a hub to the health institutions”.
He further said there is currently no public Orthopaedic hospital in the North Central and Jos being the gate way between south east, south south, south west, north central and northeast is prone to high rate of traffic accidents resulting to serious injuries and fractures.
He said the Plateau state government has an existing structure, the temporary site of the Jos University Teaching Hospital, which could be used as a temporary site for the proposed National Orthopaedic Hospital, Jos.
In its presentation, the Nigerian Medical Association, Plateau state branch said the medical centre in Wase will be a very powerful enabler of societal empowerment and mitigate the gap in the quality of health services received by all those who will benefit from it.
The chairman, Dr. InnocDr Emmanuel said “Many people in this community are constantly being pushed into crushing poverty because they travel regularly at great cost to distant places to access health care.
“Some travel to Jos, which is over 200 kilometres, others to neighbouring Bauchi state, while others travel as far as Taraba state, crossing dangerous rivers and streams”
He said the hospital will reduce infant and maternal mortality in Plateau, give access to quality health care for the people and improve life expectancy, which currently stands at 54.33 years.
He said currently, there is only one tertiary health institution in Plateau state and it is located in the state capital.
The Nigerian Orthopaedic Association in its memorandum by its president, Prof. Kunle Olawepo called for the establishment of a national Orthopaedic hospital in zones without one saying this will reduce the burden and pressure on the existing three Orthopaedic centres in the country.
He said the hospital will also provide employment opportunities thereby accelerating socio-economic development to the host community and the country at large.
Also, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in its presentation by her oreaidentpresidentam Ohabunwa said there is need to ma ake provision for the thpresidentshment of a drug revolving fund in a medical centre to legally strengthen the operations of the already existing drug revolving scheme in the hospital.
The national president, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, Prof. James Garba Damen, while supporting the bill said the establishment of the hospital and the centre was long overdue. He called on the House to give the Bill’peditious passage.