Few months after the Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, raised an alarm over the poor state of the State House Clinic, which she said lacked drugs and equipment, the pathetic state of the National Assembly Clinic has also been exposed.
Recently, two persons were said to have died owing to lack of basic drugs and equipment despite huge budgetary allocation every year.
Insiders said in most cases, doctors only prescribe drugs for patients (staff of the national assembly) to buy outside.
It was gathered that due to the pathetic state of the clinic, the Senators and Members of the House of Representatives no longer seek medical attention there but the staff especially the junior ones have no alternative.
According to the source, the management of NASS is trying frantically to cover it up so as to avoid embarrassment like that of the State House Clinic.
“Doctors are hardly enough. But even if they are, there will be no equipment to work with. It is either the ones available have broken down after months of acquisition and usage with myriad of outstanding promises of fixing or changing them or that the machines are not available. That is the case at this clinic.
“Am sure, you can always get paracetamol and other routine drugs. But anything outside that will take the patient to outside the clinic where he will be advised to buy the drugs.
“A thorough look at what constitutes a hospital for the Legislative Arm of the Federal government reveals a deliberate detachment of some offices at the basement on the left flank of the Complex, just before the Senate.
“Even though it is partitioned and made so compact to accommodate all the units of the clinic, it is still not enough let alone providing offices for the Heads of Unit. That is to tell you, what someone who is seriously sick will go through to get treated.
“For instance, the Office of the Head of Pharmaceutical Service is located in the Senate new Building, miles away from the “White House” where the clinic is itself located. Again, the clinic does not admit patients at the National Assembly. Admission is only done at Area 11, the extension of the clinic which operates in a rented 3 -bed room apartment. You can see for yourself that, it is not advisable for any one to go through all of that.
“Then the Laboratory Centre of the Clinic is situated miles away entirely from the whole Assembly Complex to another wing called “annex”. This means that whatever tests recommended by the Doctors, one simply needs to taxi to the place. But unfortunately, there are no taxis.
“We therefore, walk on foot, meandering through the buildings, doing a lot of stairs climbing or lifting becomes the only option available to get to the Lab Section. And then, one is told on arrival to the clinic that all the tests ticked for cannot not be done.
“No kits, at least, for some time now. The kits have remained unavailable, and we can’t talk, because there are a lot of cover up with a lot of things going on in that clinic, but we can’t talk because of our job.
“In a situation where a patient becomes angry and in an attempt to pacify such patient, he or she will be advised to pay some money for the test to be conducted outside. it is not mandatory but strictly optional.
“This is because no one pays a dime in the clinic. At least, that is the situation for now. May be that could be the reason why some prescribed drugs are hardly available” She added.
“The worst of all, is that you can get drugs base on your personal relationship or your level in the office. Those staff that know one or two persons there , don’t face what others go through, because they personally bring drugs for them to avoid problems. This may also explain why serious screening are done before a staff can be attended to in the clinic.
“The annoying part is that the staff at the clinic, including cleaners are part of all kind of malpractices in that place, because they do not have choice. Any attempt to go against them, is to risk your job,” Peoples Daily quoted an insider in a recent report published by the newspaper.
When contacted, the Director/ Secretary Health Services, Dr Eme Moma Efretuei, declined to speak on the pathetic state of the clinic. “You know in civil service, this is not allowed. You don’t expect me to respond when I have my boss. The Clerk is in position to respond to you, unless there is clearance from him, I cannot say anything.”