Governments in Ekiti, Osun and Ondo States have put in place measures to ensure effective monitoring of health facilities and safe practices in line with the best global practices.
Officials of the state governments in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Osogbo, Ado-Ekiti and Akure, said that activities of all health facilities were regulated regularly.
Dr Oyebanji Filani, Ekiti State Commissioner for Health and Human Development, told NAN that the state “is closely and regularly monitoring health facilities in all the 16 local government areas and local development areas to protect the huge government’s investment in the sector.”
Filani, who disclosed that the state had deployed officers in the monitoring unit of the ministry to carry out such duties, explained that stakeholders in the health sector, including communities, are also partnering with the government to ensure that the facilities are jealously guarded.
“The administration of Gov. Biodun Oyebanji is also making relentless efforts towards comprehensive renovation of all government health facilities in the state to ensure effective health care delivery system,” he said
Similarly, Dr Babatunde Rosiji, the Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association(NMA), Ekiti State Chapter, said the state had in recent times witnessed tremendous progress in the area of health care delivery, noting that a lot more could still be done to improve the sector.
Rosiji also commended authorities of some tertiary health institutions in the state, especially the Chief Medical Director of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti (FETHI), Prof. Adekunle Ajayi, for improving facilities such as medical equipment, officer’s quarters and doctor’s call rooms among others.
“I want to sincerely appreciate and commend the Chief Medical Director of FETHI for supporting NMA in the state by providing a befitting officer’s quarters and doctor’s call rooms to enhance their efficiency.
“Prof. Ajayi is a man of class and taste who often places priority on quality and efficiency. We are grateful to him and pray that God will continually grant him more wisdom to direct the affairs of the hospital,” he said
Rosiji appealed to management of FETHI to make more accommodation available for house officers.
Dr Ebenezer Ariyibi, the immediate past chairman of NMA in the state, and Physician-in-Charge of Igogo Annex Clinic of the hospital, said that FETHI had been acquiring best equipment and facility, “so as to be able to give its patients the best of treatment.”
Ariyibi urged the state government to do more on the upgrade of equipment and facilities of state-owned hospitals and health centres to meet the demand of the patients.
A medical expert, Dr Shola Olaniyan, also described access to quality medical service as very important to the overall survival of any community and the nation as a whole.
He said that the criteria used by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to approve health facilities to operate in any states include buildings, which he said must be composite, not forming part of normal residential accommodation.
He said these must include, a waiting room, medical record department, consulting room, treatment room, toilet facilities, pharmacy/dispensing room, theatre room and laboratory facilities.
He said that there must be proper waste management system, source of water supply and hospital safety devices in the hospital environment.
He also said there must be equipment such as oxygen cylinder, sterilizing equipment, patient monitors, suction machine, hospital bed and bed side lockers.
He said the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria requires that the Medical Administrator should be a consultant or a medical or dental officer of more than 10 years post registration experience.
“There must be certificate of full registration and evidence of Annual Practising License. Also, hospital that compounds drugs requires the services of a qualified and registered pharmacist who is listed with the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria,” he said.
A community leader, Chief Michael Ogunsakin, said medical regulatory bodies should monitor health facilities in the state by determining the standard of knowledge and skills to be attained as professionals.
He said government should carry out financial risk protection programmes in some selected facilities and communities in the state, including free health programme for indigent adults with health challenges.
He advised that a robust supportive suspension mechanism should be put in place for constant monitoring of the health providers in a bid to ensure the provision of qualitative health services across hospitals operating in the state .
He said any hospital that does not meet the standard requirements by the health regulatory agencies, or found operating below standard, should be closed down.
Mr Jola Akintola, the Osun Commissioner for Health, said that some health facilities were being upgraded to ensure best healthcare system in the state.
According to the commissioner, who said that criteria in line with best global practices were laid down in setting up health facilities in the state, the state government monitors and also ensures that all health facilities operate in line with the best practices.
While commending Gov. Ademola Adeleke for paying adequate attention to health care delivery system in the state, Akintola said some mechanism had been activated by the state government to ensure that all its facilities remain functional.
Also speaking, Dr Adebose Oria, Senior Registrar, Anaesthesia Department, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife, said that there are general principles guiding setting-up health facilities across the country.
Oria explained that primary healthcare facilities receive directives from the state government before they can set up facilities at the community level.
She said before a health facility could be set up, such facility must be registered and get operating licence.
“You have to register with Corporate Affairs Commission as limited liability company. Get operation permit from the Federal Ministry of Health through the State Ministry of Health and write letter of permission to the State Ministry of Health through the Federal Ministry of Health,” she said.
Oria, who said that licence issued by the Ministry of Health must be renewed yearly, explained that a private hospital in the state must not be cited within a distance of less than 500 metres away from another private hospital.
“Part of other requirements for setting up facilities, be it private, state or federal, is that there must be a waiting room, medical record department, consulting room, toilet facilities and source of water among others.
“Others are treatment room, staff room, admission room, procedure room and labour ward.
“The environment must be clean and well organised. There must be fire extinguisher, Oxygen cylinder, sterilizing equipment, patient parameter for blood pressure, patient hospital bed and lockers”, she said.
Oria also said that medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and other regulatory bodies should ensure that competent staff and pharmacists are employed at health facilities.
Also speaking with NAN in Akure, Prof. Dayo Faduyile, Special Adviser on Health Matters to Ondo State government, said the state “has always follow due process in the approval of health facilities.”
According to Faduyile, anyone applying to own a facility must meet up with the criteria laid down by the department of hospital services in the state Ministry of Health.
“Usually, a hospital should be run by a certified medical doctor who has attained a certain level of experience. A young doctor or serving NYSC corps member can’t own a hospital. And again, there are some specifications on the size of location of the facilities.
“There should be different departments and different levels. We have the one that are clinics, we have the ones that are hospitals.
“Clinics are supposed to see and admit patient for observation but they don’t do night shift duty. Hospital is the one that has more than the clinic, they can actually do admission and other sorts of intervention. Usually, they must have a space.
“There is a special arrangement that is specified on how to come in, where the reception will be, where the waste is disposed and how it is disposed, both sharp and unsharp.
“The minimum number of personnel is also put into consideration for approval,” the former NMA president said.