By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The Lagos State Government has shut down 143 hospitals and other health facilities across the state for quackery and engaging in substandard practices.
Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi disclosed this on Tuesday at a ministerial briefing to mark the second year of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in office held in Ikeja, Lagos.
According to him, the health facilities were shut by the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) in the last one year.
Abayomi said the facilities were shut for quackery and substandard practices, such as non-registration, lack of qualified medical personnel, training of auxiliary nurses, lack of basic equipment, practicing beyond schedule, and impersonation.
He added that HEFAMAA also registered 4,187 health facilities and that additional 39 health facilities were assessed for recommendation to Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) for enrollment into the Lagos State Health Scheme.
The commissioner also said the state government has embarked on a total overhaul of infrastructure across all levels of its healthcare delivery system, saying that the roadmap for the upgrade of infrastructure in the State-owned health facilities began last year, following the approval of the plan by the executive council.
Abayomi explained that the infrastructure roadmap was being executed by the ministry’s Medical Project Implementation Unit (MPIU) in phases, revamping facilities across primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare. He said the overhaul was part of a strategy to build a resilient healthcare in Lagos and increase residents’ access to quality universal health coverage.
He said the effort would bring about fit-for-purpose healthcare facilities that would raise the capacity of the State Government to respond to contemporary and future health challenges, while observing that the renewal effort was being carried out in short, medium- and long-term bases.
Part of the new features to be seen, the Commissioner said, would include improved efficiency for physical maintenance, ease of movement, low carbon footprint, low energy consumption, infection prevention and control as well as staff and patient comfort.
He said: “In last one year, we have embarked on a phased but comprehensive revamp of our secondary health facilities as part of our medical infrastructure upgrade roadmap which is aimed at raising access to quality and bringing about efficiently run health facilities.
“This effort commenced in the previous year and it is expected to address issues of design errors, drainage, patient flow, staff flow, water collection, infection prevention, energy and ventilations.
“We have renovated and remodeled the Mainland Hospital in Yaba with future plans of making it an Institute of Research for Infectious Disease. We have also completed the remodeling and upgrade of Apapa General Hospital, just as we currently renovate Harvey Road Health Centre, Ebute Metta Health Centre, Isolo General Hospital and the General Hospital, Odan Lagos. All of these are in the effort to make health accessible.”
According to the Commissioner, the Sanwo-Olu administration has completed, equipped and handed over two multi-level Maternal and Childcare Centre (MCC) in Eti-Osa and Badagry. The construction of another 110-bed MCC, he said, has been completed in Epe and is due for commissioning in the coming weeks.
Abayomi noted that the upgrade was being done in a sustainable way, which would take another decade for major repairs to be done, except statutory maintenance by the hospital management and the Lagos State Asset Maintenance Agency (LASIAMA).
He disclosed executive council had also approved the construction of new hospitals to bridge gaps in access and services in the health sector. This, he said, is in tandem with the determination of current administration to achieve the goals set in the Health and Environment pillar of its T.H.E.M.E.S agenda.
He said: “In fulfilment of our medical infrastructure blueprint agenda, we have commenced the construction of a 280-bed General Hospital in Ojo, 150-bed New Massey Street Children’s Hospital, while the Governor has also approved the construction and equipping of 1,500-bed Psychiatric Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre at Majidun in Ketu Ejinrin.
“In the course of the year, we have completed the construction of a four-storey Faculty of Basic Medical and Clinical Sciences Office Block at Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM) and plans have been concluded for renovation and upgrade of some facilities at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in tandem with our medical infrastructure blueprint strategy for the tertiary health facilities.
“In partnership with the private sector, we have completed and handed over an oxygen plant at Mainland and Gbagada General Hospitals. We have delivered Traige and Oxygen Centres in 10 locations across Lagos. In raising staff welfare, we have started the construction of a 24-unit Doctors’ and Staff Quarters in at Gbagada General Hospital.”
Abayomi also disclosed that work had begun on the blueprint designs for Comprehensive Health Center, Primary Health Center and Health Posts as part of the move to rejig their operations and service delivery. This, he said, will help in adding significant bed capacity to Lagos State’s healthcare infrastructure.