By Johnbosco Agbakwuru – Abuja
The Presidency on Thursday said that the budgetary provision for the State House Clinic does not provide for “hangers-on”, hence, it will scale down the number of persons authorised to access medical attention at the facility.
Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijani Umar, who stated this at the two-day Service Improvement Plan Workshop in Abuja, noted that the Clinic was established to provide healthcare services to the President and Vice President, as well as their families and members of staff working in the Presidential Villa.
He said the authorities were determined to eliminate the “hangers-on” and extend services to only those who are officially entitled to access the health care facility.
According to him, a lot of water had passed under the bridge since last year which has warranted the renewed zeal after a meeting of stakeholders to bring back the clinic to it’s the original status of efficient service to those who are entitled to access the facility.
He said, “We are going to trim down the number of unentitled people. Unentitled bringing constraints to us, bringing issues, that’s all. If you have given children in your house neighbours send like 20 every evening to come, your pot will not be enough. That’s what we are saying.
“This will assist us to look at those areas requiring improvement. The biggest room in the world is room for improvement. The Clinic used to be a yardstick for performance measurement in the medical enclave and pride of the highly trained and experienced personnel working there.
“However, over the recent years, it was observed that services rendered at the clinic to the privileged few,
suffered a noticeable decline to almost zero service delivery. This resulted in a mockery of the facility and loss of confidence by its customers on its ability to render effective service.
“In an effort to upturn this ugly trend and revive its past glory, the State House
Management reversed the Medical Centre profile granted the facility, to its original status of Clinic, in order to limit the number of patients it handles and also maintain the original purpose it was created for.
“As you are all aware, in order to further improve service delivery in the Clinic, an outpatient survey was conducted in October 2019, by the SERVICOM National Office and the State House SERVICOM unit. A Report on that regard had since been forwarded to me
and in order to review the findings of the survey, as well as propose an action plan indicating short, medium, and long term actions to improve service delivery at the Clinic.
“1 approved that this session is convened, involving all relevant stakeholders, and cut across all departments of the clinic, with the active involvement of the SERVICOM Unit, to promote service improvement in the Clinic.”
The Permanent Secretary further said the authorities were also determined to address the frequent power outage which had been a major challenge to effective service provision by the hospital.
Speaking earlier, the Servicom National Coordinator, Mrs. Nnennna Akajemeli said a survey conducted at the clinic identified a shortage of staff, especially Doctors, and frequent power outage among others we’re observed at the State House clinic.
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This development, she said, seriously affects the waiting time in the delivery of service, adding that recurrent power failure affects sensitive machines that require a constant power supply in the clinic.
“Our findings revealed that there is a need to work on patients’ waiting time. This could be reduced to the barest minimum by reducing bureaucratic bottlenecks that hinder patients from quick access, e.g. our processes and procedures.
“Findings also show that staff attitude needs to be improved upon. In the service delivery process, attitude is everything. So, there is a need to develop a positive attitude towards our work.
Attitudes such as being helpful to patients, offering a smile, being polite, and above all having a listening ear, this would go a long way in alleviating patients’ predicament.”
Me Akajemeli said the two-day workshop was aimed to alleviate the shortfall in service delivery at the clinic.