Aso Rock clinic to be commercialised

Ebun Francis || The State House permanent secretary, Jala Arabi on Wednesday said that the Aso Rock clinic will have to be commercialised to enable it generate revenue.

Arabi’s comment is coming on the heels of severe criticisms from the daughter of the President, Zahra and members of the public of the clinic that is designed to cater for the President, the Vice President and members of their families.

But reacting to the criticisms on Wednesday, Atta Esa, state house deputy director of information, in a statement on behalf of the permanent secretary said the management would “among other things seek the commercialisation of the centre to boost its revenue and augment the appropriation it receives from the government in the quest for a better qualitative service”.

He said, “The centre is the only health centre in Abuja where patients are not required to pay any dime before consultation.”

“In other government hospitals in Abuja, patients are required to pay for consultation, treatment, laboratory tests and others but that has not been the case with the state house medical centre.

“The centre offers free services, nobody pays a kobo for hospital card, consultations or prescriptions and this has taken a toll on the subvention the centre receives from the government.

“We have some of the best equipment in the country. For instance, to maintain the MRI and other scan machines, we spend close to N2 million monthly. Yet we do not charge a dime for those who require MRI scans in the clinic.

“We have already created a NHIS desk at the clinic where patients will be required to authentic their profile. If their HMOs are registered in other hospitals they will be required to transfer to the centre.

“This is another way through which we can boost revenue generation at the hospital and this has started yielding results because the stark reality is there is no free lunch anywhere.”

“I know people will insinuate and give all sorts of reasons because they don’t ask but it will be foolhardy and madness for anybody in his senses to defraud a medical centre of a kobo and toying with people’s lives,” he added.

“No sane person will do that, so the truth of the matter is the hospital is being run on  subvention and appropriation; if it comes we pile the drugs; but the truth is the drugs are always overwhelmed by the number of people who use the centre, because it is not controlled.”