Taking a cue from Lagos public health infrastructure development initiative
The Lagos State Government has not only put in place a blueprint to develop medical infrastructure, it is also strategically investing in infrastructure development, upgrade, and maintenance of health facilities across the state. This is with a view to enabling Lagosians to have access to quality and affordable healthcare services.
Under the current administration of Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, healthcare infrastructure management has become an increasingly visible aspect of the state’s health system management strategy. It is, therefore, correct to assert that Lagos is setting standards for the management and sustainability of health facilities in the country.
Currently, the Sanwo-Olu administration is embarking on an audacious overhaul of public health facilities in the state. Refurbishment and renovation work at these facilities have received considerable media visibility due to the inspection tour embarked upon by top government functionaries from the state’s Ministry of Health as well as the Lagos State Infrastructure Asset Management Agency, LASIAMA, to ensure that contractors work to specification.
Prior to the rolling out of the state’s medical infrastructure renewal blueprint, the government had carried out a review of health facilities in the state. The review revealed evidence that aged facilities militate against the delivery of efficient and accessible healthcare systems in the state.
Thus, as it is characteristic of his administration, Mr. Governor engaged professionals to develop blueprints for the improvement of primary, secondary and specialist health facilities across the state.
The merit of the government’s priority in this regard is that medical infrastructure development and management is an important component of a well-functioning healthcare system. Health system infrastructure ranges from the physical facilities, information systems to medical equipment and also involves construction of new infrastructure as a strategy to achieving quality healthcare delivery for the citizenry.
To provide quality health services required for the achievement of universal health coverage, essential facilities such as electricity, water and skilled health workforce are a necessity.
For certain, with the attention that the government is focusing on medical infrastructure development as well as the institutionalization of a maintenance culture, all issues bedeviling medical health infrastructure in the state will disappear when ongoing activities are completed. Mr. Governor’s Medical Infrastructure Strategic Development Plan (MISDP) means that the citizens will receive the desired quality health care and also help retain healthcare professionals within the system.
In order to ensure that the investment in healthcare facilities development is properly preserved, the government has saddled LASIAMA with the onerous responsibility of developing and executing strategic maintenance of these health facilities. Incidentally, LASIAMA has been part of the refurbishment strategy and it is already breathing new life into public health facilities maintenance in the State.
Currently, LASIAMA is entrenching a well-thought-out maintenance culture in public assets across the state in order to ensure that public infrastructure does not suffer dilapidation due to neglect. The Agency is ensuring this, particularly in schools and hospitals. It has come up with a facility management programme towards improving the working condition in all public facilities across the State. For instance, to ensure the proper maintenance of the popular Island Maternity, Lagos, LASIAMA has mandated Viropact Earth Services Ltd. To manage the facility for a year from (February 2021 – January 2022).
With this arrangement, the Hospital’s Management focuses on clinical services, while the Facility Managers support in handling scheduled maintenance services such as preventing power or equipment failures and generally creating a hygienic environment in the hospital.
Before introducing the facility managers to the hospital’s management, LASIAMA had carefully spelt-out the maintenance activities expected to be performed by the Facility outfit and charged it to create a functional, safe and hygienic environment in the hospital. Scheduled Maintenance Services to be performed by the Facility Manager were categorized under electrical, routine maintenance of ventilation and air-conditioning systems, sanitary plumbing and drainage, sewage treatment and maintenance of water treatment plants. Others are fire prevention, low voltage systems, internal and external painting of the facilities, lift maintenance, medical equipment maintenance among others.
It is also in the continuation of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration’s efforts toward improving public health facility infrastructure that LASIAMA has been visible at the Lagos State General Hospital, Odan, and Gbagada General Hospital. LASIAMA’s presence at the two hospitals centres on analyzing and understanding the scope of work to be done at both facilities.
The General Hospital, Lagos Odan, situated between Broad Street and Marina in the Lagos Central Business District, CBD, is one of the General Hospitals being overhauled by the government to give residents unhindered access to affordable and quality health care. It was established as a Military Hospital for the treatment of ill members of the British Armed forces during the colonial era. At the time of its establishment in 1893, it was the first General Hospital in the country. Presently, renovation work at the hospital cut across several departments and it is massive.
The Lagos State Health Service Commission (LSHSC) is another area where renovation work is ongoing, while the construction of the Blood Transfusion Centre, being managed by LASIAMA, at the Gbagada General Hospital is almost completed. Other Healthcare facilities earmarked for reconstruction and refurbishment by the government include the Isolo and Ojo General Hospitals.
Certainly, the Sanwo-Olu administration is doing a lot to ensure that hospitals across the state provide world-class health care services for Lagosians. Improvement of these healthcare infrastructure means that the citizens will receive the desired quality health care services, while also helping to retain healthcare professionals.
Once the government is done with the total overhaul of all the health facilities, LASIAMA would come in and set up a facility management programme to ensure the deep refurbishment done is adequately preserved.
Musbau is Assistant Director, Public Affairs Unit, LASIAMA, Alausa, Ikeja.
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