Minister under pressure to account for budget on LUTH, others
• SERAP calls for healthcare revolution
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has been asked to provide information about the spending of allocations to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, and other health facilities across the country.This is sequel to the recent report on the alleged humanitarian crisis in LUTH and the other federal medical facilities.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) in the report, ‘Failing Healthcare: How Federal Hospitals are Letting Down the Poor and Making Healthcare a Privilege rather than a Right’, released last week, alleged, among others, that “at LUTH, even bed sheets are in short supply.”It also alleged that patients sometimes use their clothing as bedspread, adding that “available LUTH bed sheets are in bad shape, while the toilets are contaminated.”
However, SERAP has urged the minister to expand the probe to other federal teaching hospitals and medical centres across the country, from 2010 to 2017.In a letter signed by its deputy director, Timothy Adewale, SERAP stated: “The information should include details of spending on specific projects and facilities at LUTH and other teaching hospitals and medical centres under the direct control of the Ministry of Health.
“We would be grateful if the information is provided to us within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, failing which SERAP shall take appropriate legal action to compel you to comply with our request.“Despite huge budgetary allocations, many of the teaching hospitals and medical centres under the direct control of your ministry have been left to fall apart, and healthcare facilities in many of these hospitals lack even the most basic of amenities.
“Ordinary Nigerians have derived appallingly little benefit from all the allocations, in terms of access to basic healthcare, showing a failure to respect and ensure the right to health and human dignity in the country.”
The organisation demanded a ‘paradigm shift’ and little short of a ‘healthcare revolution’ in the country to end decades of mismanagement, corruption and neglect in the health sector.
Sometime ago, Mr. Ausbet Udebu, whose wife died in LUTH due allegedly to neglect by the institution, had said he would lead a revolution in the health sector.SERAP noted the approved capital allocations since 2010 to the health ministry to include: N49.99 billion (2010), N33.53 billion (2011), N57.01 billion (2012), N60.08 billion (2013), N49.52 billion (2014), N22.68 billion (2015), N22.65 billion (2016) and N55.61 billion (2017).
“According to our information and latest research, despite approved capital allocation of trillions of naira over the years, these hospitals have been left to crumble and Nigerians have suffered greatly from the decay of these vital public services,” SERAP noted.