The Senate on Tuesday began moves to locate federal health facilities in every part of Nigeria.
The chamber mandated its committees on Health, Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases to consider all requests for siting of federal health facilities, where they do not already exist, with the intent to correct imbalance in the distribution of the facilities in the country.
This decision followed a motion by Mathew Urhoghide, Edo-PDP.
Moving the motion, Mr. Urhoghide said: “The Senate notes that in recent times, there has been numerous requests from Nigerians, including legislators; stakeholders and the general public, for the establishment of federal health facilities in all six geo-political zones of the country to provide health care services amongst other things;
“The Senate notes further that some of these requests are currently being considered by this 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in its set determination to ensure fairness at all times to all sectors and segments of the country;
“The Senate is aware that till date, no proper template or records exist anywhere in the country mirroring the locational distribution of federal health facilities across the length and breadth of the Nigerian geographical landscape.”
He said the absence of such a database or records has made the siting of federal health facilities skewed with some states or geo-political zones having more than others.
He added that such practice violates fairness and the federal character principle, as some sections or people may be disadvantaged as they have to travel far to other locations to access health care.
Adopting the motion, the Senate mandated its “Committees on Health (Secondary & Tertiary) and Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases to catalogue all existing health facilities reflecting their locations, size, nature of services rendered, years of construction, present condition and other challenges to form part of the Health Sector Information Bank to date.”
The Senate also referred “all requests or demands by legislators and other stakeholders for the siting of federal health facilities, where they do not already exist, to this joint committee with the intent and purposes of correcting the imbalance in the distribution of federal health facilities across local government areas, states and or geo-political zones.”