FCTA Shuts Illegal Health Facilities In Abuja

By: Badaru Yakasai

The FCT Administration has expressed its determination to flush out all illegal health facilities in the Federal Capital Territory and encourage those that comply with best standard practices.

The Director, Medical & Diagnostics, Health & Human Services Secretariat, Dr. Abubakar Ahmadu made this disclosure during an intensive inspection by the Private Health Establishment Registration and Monitoring Committee (PHERMC) in Abuja.

Dr. Ahmadu said that the Administration will do everything possible to maintain the standard of health facilities in Abuja whether private or public to remain a pacesetter because Abuja should be a shining example to the 36 states of the federation.

The Director remarked that the routine inspection will be regular to ensure high compliance. He revealed that unfortunately, 10 private hospitals and 10 laboratories were closed down for various offences ranging from operating illegally by non-registration with the Health and Human Services Secretariat, unqualified personnel rendering services and unethical services being rendered in the facilities.

Dr. Ahmadu added that the Private Health Establishment Registration and Monitoring Committee has
the responsibility of registration of private health establishments, monitoring of activities of private health establishments and ensuring that all the medical personnel in each of these PHEs are licensed by their respective councils and boards to provide services in the FCT.

It’s responsibilities also include advocacy visits to professional councils like the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria and Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

According to him, PHERMC ensures that criteria for opening Private health facilities are followed, which include registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) ensuring that the location of the facility is not less than 400m from any existing registered facility offering same services in the FCT.

Dr. Ahmadu maintained that other criteria required to establish a private health facility in FCT include ensuring that the proposed structure is a stand-alone building with enough rooms to accommodate the services intended and the equipment must be functional as well as relevant to the services to be rendered.

To ensure that PHEs continue to provide quality health care to FCT residents, the Director noted that PHERMC carries out routine inspection three times a week to random facilities without prior notice, quarterly intensive inspection exercise and also responds to distress calls from the general public bordering on unregistered facilities and unwholesome practices from registered facilities.

Giving details of the number of registered private health facilities in the FCT, Dr. Ahmadu stated that as at April, 2023 there were 1,289 registered health facilities of which 509 were private hospitals, 62 were Clinics and Maternity Centers, 72 Dental Clinics, 78 Multi-Diagnostic Centers, 135 Eye Clinics and 224 private medical laboratories.

The Director called on the management of Private health facilities in the FCT to always strictly adhere to the stipulated guidelines of establishing the health facility which among others includes having the required staff strength and ensuring that staff employed are not engaged in other primary assignment elsewhere.

Dr. Ahmadu stated that PHERMC will continue to render assistance towards registration of PHEs by providing relevant information towards registration of private health establishment in the Territory.

“There is the need for partnership between investors and health professionals in setting up PHEs as the cost of setting up is shared. This also has the potential of accelerating development in the health sector by creating health facilities that will deliver health care excellence to the FCT community and the Nation at large,” he advised.