Senate, Stakeholders Endorse Health Sciences Varsity

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By AGBO-PAUL AUGUSTINE, Abuja

A bill seeking for the establishment of the Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo (FUHSO), Benue State, has received the overwhelming endorsement of the Senate, stakeholders in the education and health sectors in Nigeria.

The Federal Ministry of Education, National Universities Commission (NUC), Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria(MDCAN), Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and League of Idoma Professors ( LIP) were unanimous in their submissions at the Senate Public Hearing that the University is desirable.

Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki, described the bill as timely noting that the establishment of the university would help mitigate the crisis in the health sector.

Besides, Saraki stressed that the university would open the window for admission and training of Medical Doctors, Nurses , Pharmacists and Medical Laboratory Scientists in Nigeria adding, “The university when established would address the issues of medical tourism and its associated capital flights.”

Saraki, who spoke through the Senate Chief Whip, Professor Sola Adeyeye, lamented that Nigeria loses humongous sum of money about N3billion annually on account of citizens seeking medical attentions abroad.

Sponsor of the Bill and former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, espoused the educational, economic and social importance of establishing the Health University to include medical education, access to health care facilities and employment opportunities.

Senator Mark urged his colleagues to support and pass the bill for the benefit of humanity .

Education minister, Mallam Adamu Adamu, added that the establishment of the Health University would help address the imbalance in health education just as it will solve the medical needs of citizens.

Speaking through the permanent secretary in the ministry, Mr. Sunday Echono, the minister assured that the executive arm of government will do the needful as soon as the legislative processes are completed.

The NUC executive secretary, Professor Adamu Rasheed, who spoke through Professor Ibrahim Yakassai, said the university would be an added value to the pursuit of Medical Education in Nigeria.

All the speakers including Professor Innocent Ujah, of Nigeria Institute for Medical Research ( NIMR ), Professor Francis Uba, of College of Medical Sciences, Professor Owoicho Akpa, of League of Idoma Professors, former Interior minister, Comrade Abah Moro, and Dr Umar Adamu, of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) among others were of the consensus that the university be established forthwith to address medical challenges in Nigeria .