…Seek stiffer penalty for quackery
From: Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives, on Thursday, resolved to investigate the deplorable condition of the State House Clinic and alleged deductions from the salaries and allowances of its medical staff.
The House, which commended the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, for speaking out about the state of the clinic, also resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to undertake the investigation.
The Committee is expected to report back to the House within three weeks for further legislative action.
This followed a motion moved at yesterday’s plenary by Hon Henry Archibong.
This was coming as the House at Thursday’s plenary, passed for second reading a bill seeking to amend the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act to increase penalties for persons convicted of quackery and other offences under the Act.
The bill sponsored by Hon. Dozie Nwankwo seeks to amend section17(5)(a)and (b) of the principal Act to increase penalty for quackery and other offences from a sum not exceeding N5000 to one million naira in the event of summary conviction, and a fine not exceeding five million naira or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or both in the event of conviction or indictment.
Leading debate on the motion on the state House Clinic, Archibong said it is disheartening that despite huge allocations to the State House Clinic over the years, the clinic lacks the necessary drugs and equipment, needed to save lives.
The lawmaker expressed dismay that the state House Clinic which was established to take care of the needs of the President, his deputy and their families, as well as cater for the staff of the Presidential Villa lacks basic device like syringes.
According to him, since 2015 over N11.01 billion has been appropriated for the State House Clinic, yet there is nothing on the ground in the hospital to show for the huge expenditure.
Archibong said “in the last three years over N11.01 billion has been appropriated. But something as simple as syringes is not available in the clinic. If people that are supposed to administer the medical facilities cannot do so, it calls for concern.
“If this level of misappropriation can happen in the State House Clinic, let us imagine what happens to the other hospitals and the ordinary citizens, who go there for healthcare
“It is an embarrassment to this country. It is unacceptable that this amount has been spent and there is nothing to show for it. It can not happen in the smallest of Africa country, not to talk of America, Asia and Europe.
“It is unacceptable that the minister and the permanent secretary has not resigned in shame. “ (The Sun)