BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN,
The management of the National Eye Centre (NEC) Kaduna has informed the House Committee members on health institutions of the National Assembly that it attends to no fewer than 40,000 patients across the country.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the eye centre Dr Mahmood Alhassan stated this while giving an overview of the operations of the centre when the committee visited on oversight functions.
Earlier the CMD had taken the Rep. members on general tour of the hospital particularly areas that will require among others their legislative interventions.
He informed the committee members that “the National Eye Centre Kaduna is a 300 hundred bedded hospital with 18 opthalmologists/consultants, 37 residents doctors, 630 clinical and non professional workers and we attend to over forty thousand patients monthly ‘’.
According to the CMD, the major challenge of the Hospital are non approval of budgetary allocation for training and retraining of staff, insecurity, need for upgrade of equipment and challenges of land grabbers intruders among others.
Also speaking Comrade Omotosho Williams who is the Chairman Joint Health Workers Union told the committee of their challenges which include the poor level of training for staff and non promotion of staff.
He said, ‘’Our outstanding salaries of April and May 2018 are still pending and we want Government to address the issue as soon as possible. Poor funding which deprives our workers from mandatory Pre- retirement training and under-staffing’’ .
Responding after the tour of the hospital and brief from the management, Chairman of the committee Hon. Dr.Pascal Obi commended the hospital management particularly in the area of attending to large number of eye patients monthly.
Honorable Obi described the National Eye centre as a centre for excellence given the magnitude of cases its handles daily and being the only eye care hospital in Nigeria.
On some of the challenges of the hospital, he said ‘’the issue of budget provisions for the hospital are issues that can be resolved in the 2021 budget, at least now that we have visited the hospital and see for ourselves, there should be a difference’’ he assured.
On land tussle matter or encroachment, he also assured that the matter will be taken up with the state Government for speedy execution of judgment.
Hon. Obi averred that there will be need to decentralize the National eye centre and National ear centre both located in Kaduna for other Nigerians from other regions to have easy access to, adding that considering the fact that the eye centre is very large, there will be need to make it a teaching hospital with additional departments.
Other members of the committee were Hon. S.B Adejare, Hon. Amobi Yunusa Akintola, Hon. Amos Gwamna Magaji and Hon. Bagos Musa Dachung.