For the people of Bida in Bida local government area of Niger State, healthcare delivery is a big expectation they have in the present leadership of the country under the tutelage of President Muhammadu Buhari. The ancient town in Niger State remains a strategic location for the setting up of the federal medical centre to meet their medical needs going by the large number of residents of the city and other adjoining LGAs in that part of the state.
The minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, inaugurated the Board of Management of Federal Medical Centre, Bida in the first quarter of 2018 with the charge to ensure that efficiency, transparency that will guarantee quality health delivery is given to the people of Bida and environs.
The Board came into being at a time that many Nigerians, especially All Progressives Congress (APC) party faithful were clamouring for the composition of the Boards of government parastatals and agencies to create opportunities for them to be part of government to help in delivering to the people the benefit of democracy.
No sooner than the Board was inaugurated, its chairman, Is’haq Usman Sarkin Shanun Jere, set out for the brass task of providing committed and transparent leadership to the 13-member Board with a view to transforming the 21 years old federal tertiary hospital established in Niger state into the best centre in the country. The Board assured of its determined to maintain peace with the management of the hospital to achieve its mandate of appropriate policy guidance and supervision on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health. In a bid to eradicate industrial unrest in the hospital, the Board has embarked on vigorous engagement and dialogue with all the unions and associations in the hospital to create a conducive atmosphere for mutual understanding and harmonious relationship between the management, the health workers, which are critical elements for effective health service delivery.
With the need for engaging and mobilising the community stakeholders to join hands with the federal government to develop the centre, the Board has also established cordial relationship with the traditional institution in the state, through the Etsu Nupe/chairman of the State Traditional Council, HRH, Alhaji (Dr) Yahaya Abubakar. It has also established rapport with the state government, with which the centre has a flourishing collaboration for the management of health services at two outposts – the Comprehensive Health Centre, Zungeru and Family Medical Practice Centre, Gawu Babangida. Obviously, the outpost at Gawu Babangida is one of the few centres accredited by the Family Medicine Faculty of the National Postgraduate Medical College for the training of resident doctors in family medicine. Sarkin Shanun Jere has reiterated that the Board is determined to leave FMC Bida better than it met it. Hence, he is leaving no stone unturned in mobilising community stakeholders to support and assist the centre in developing the permanent site of the hospital as well as the existing infrastructure at the present site of the hospital established in 1938 as a colonial health facility.
The governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has pledged, during the Board’s Courtesy visit to Government House Minna, to rehabilitate the centre’s Oxygen Plant, donate utility vehicle and construct one building at the permanent site. It was against the foregoing that the Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, commended the Board for its commitment and foresight in taking measures to check incessant strikes in the hospital. During the Board’s visit to the minister, he observed that incessant industrial actions in the sector have retarded growth of health sector. He noted that the federal government is open to viable Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) initiatives that would accelerate qualitative healthcare delivery to Nigerians. The minister applauded the medical director of FMC Bida, Dr Mohammed Aminu Usman for his creativity in managing the centre effectively even in the face of scarce financial resources.The chairman of the Board used the opportunity of the visit to appeal for more financial intervention for the centre to enable it acquire additional specialised medical equipment in line with the aspirations of the present administration.