By Austin Ogwuda
ASABA â€” THE House of Representatives Committee on Health currently on tour of federal health facilities across the country, has assured Nigerians that practical steps were being taken to ensure that Nigerians get the best medical treatment in the country rather than going abroad.
Fielding questions from newsmen shortly after concluding a facility tour of the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Asaba, yesterday, the Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Alaba Lad-Ojomo, agreed that the deterioration of medical facilities, which eroded the confidence of Nigerians had taken a toll on the country due to the capital flight.
According to him, â€œthe problem did not start today. Everybody is aware that there is a capital flight due to people seeking medical attention abroad and all attention is focused at making sure that this is reduced.â€
Earlier, the Board Chairman of FMC Asba, Chief David Umahi, said â€œfrom humble beginning, the hospital has undergone various transformational stages cutting across different governments until it was taken over by the Federal Government in August 1998.â€
He, however, complained of paucity of fund, saying â€œfrom the take over date, the hospital became needful of massive fund to upgrade facilities, rehabilitate old buildings and build new wards to transform it to a deserving status of a federal tertiary health institution.
â€œBut unfortunately, this fund was not forthcoming as the take off grant, which was given to other institutions that were taken over by the Fededral Government about the same time was not given to Federal Medical Centre, Asaba and no one till date could give any reasons for this oversight.â€
On the Drug Revolving Fund, he said the hospital has hit over N40 million as at this year â€œwith a seed capital of N3million in 2003â€.