Rep. Paschal Obi on Monday urged Federal Government to replicate the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA)-Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Cancer Centre in other parts of the country.
Obi, who is the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions, made the call during his committee’s oversight visit to LUTH, Idi-Araba.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari on Feb. 26, 2019 inaugurated the NSIA-LUTH advanced cancer treatment centre in Lagos.
The centre was established under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between NSIA and LUTH.
According to Obi, NSIA is an ultramodern oncology centre that needs to be established in the eastern and northern parts of the country, apart from Lagos.
“We are impressed with what we met on ground. We understand that the LUTH-NSIA is a Private Partnership Programme (PPP) arrangement.
“We are now pleading with the Federal Government to continue to partner or collaborate with NSIA to ensure that a facility of this magnitude and stature is replicated in other parts of the country,” he said.
Obi said that the venture would be in the overall interest of Nigerians, pointing out that the NSIA-LUTH facility could not cater to the needs of cancer patients across the country.
The legislator said that the number of cancer patients in the country was increasing daily; hence, the urgent need for the Federal Government to replicate the NSIA centre in other parts of the country.
He, however, assured the LUTH Chief Medical Director, Prof. Chris Bode, that the committee would continue to collaborate with him and make favourable recommendations about the hospital.
Obi said that the health institution needed to urgently address the expansion of its Accident and Emergency Centre, adding that all the old structures in the hospital should be rehabilitated.
According to him, there is need for adequate budgetary provisions for the hospital to carry out the rehabilitation of its old structures.
“Overstretched facilities obviously are here; for an institution that started 58 years ago, it is not out of place to have such structures here,” he said.
Earlier, the chief medical director had called for support of the committee for the expansion of the hospital’s Accident and Emergency Centre.
Bode said the hospital has its own challenges in respect of some patients who still occupied bed spaces in the wards after their inability to pay their medical bills after accessing treatment.
He said that the wards should be expanded to avoid spilling over of patients and treatment of patients inside vehicles.
Bode also said that some of the facilities of the hospital had been overstretched and needed urgent intervention.