THE ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives probing Aso Rock Clinic, yesterday, declared that the life of the President and his family members would not be put at risk, saying there was need to have an effective health management in place in case of an emergency.
Chairman of the committee, Magaji Aliyu, stated this during an afternoon interactive session with Ismaila Kawu, Senior Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters (House); Ita Enang, Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate); Osagie Ehanire, Minister of State for Health and representatives of Muhammad Bello, FCT Minister, at the National Assembly complex, Abuja.
Aliyu and other lawmakers, who expressed grave concerns over the presentations of both ministers earlier, who claimed ignorance of activities of the State House Clinic, frowned at the poor management of the facility by previous administrations.
He said: “The summary of the whole thing is that the clinic is just there, it is not supervised and is not under anybody. The Ministry of Health and FCT said they are not aware, meaning the hospital is just there. I want all information on the clinic. We can’t afford to risk the life of Mr. President and somebody should be responsible.”
Doctors, non-medical staff collect allowances According to the report presented by the State House Permanent Secretary to the committee, out of 329 personnel working in the State House Clinic, 47 non-core medical personnel for several years illegally collected call-duty allowances. It alleged that some doctors sponsored by the State House to proceed on Residency programmes (usually two years), got their call duty allowances paid even when they were no longer performing call duties at the medical centre.
The Permanent Secretary told the lawmakers:“Sadly, some of them were discovered to have spent close to seven years doing residency, with many changing institutions, as they fail to qualify. “In view of the fact that paying doctors on sponsored training programme, call duty allowance was considered unearned allowances, IPPIS (OAGF) was advised to cease paying them such allowances, pending their return to duty from training.”
The Permanent Secretary also blamed 80 percent of the State House workers and their spouses for enjoying free medical services, despite their failure to enlist on the State House Clinic’s National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS. “The State House reached an agreement with HMOs with regard to the remittance of all NHIS payments in respect of State House staff whose NHIS point is the State House Medical Centre. ‘’It is instructive, however, to note that whereas almost 80% of the personnel serving in the State House access medical services at the State House Medical Centre, only about 20% of them selected the medical centre as their NHIS point.
“The implication of the foregoing is that, whereas they access free medical services at the centre, their respective NHIS contributions go to those medical facilities they selected as their providers, even though they do not go there for any medical service.
‘’This explains the quick depletion of the drugs and other consumables due to the very high number of patients being attached,” he said