The Nasarawa State Government on Saturday said it had shut down 126 illegal health facilities in Karu Local Government Area of the state.
Thomas Affi, the team leader of the joint task force of the inspectorate unit of the state’s Ministry of Health, disclosed this while briefing journalists on the ministry’s inspection tour of private health facilities.
He said the tour on health establishments in the area was to eliminate quackery in the state’s health sector.
Mr. Affi, who is the Director of Clinical Services in the state’s Ministry of Health, said the ministry embarked on the inspection because of increased rate of quackery in the health sector.
He added that the trend had affected the health of many people.
The director said, “The inspection is not meant to witch hunt anybody but to ensure that ethical practices are observed, as well as to identify registered and unregistered clinics and hospitals in the state for the benefit of all.
“Gov. Tanko Al-Makura and the Commissioner for Health, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, empowered us to embark on the exercise in order to tackle quackery and unhealthy practices in order to safeguard the lives of Nigerians.
“We started the inspection in March in Karu, where we covered a total of 112 clinics and hospitals, out of which only 16 clinics have operational licences, while 96 were operating illegally and were immediately closed down.
“We continued with the exercise last Monday and we discovered 30 new illegal clinics and hospitals and were immediately shut too, bringing the total number of shut illegal clinics and hospitals in the area to 126.
“After thorough investigation, we discovered that the 126 clinics and hospitals never had any formal registration and as such had no operational licence with the Ministry of Health.
“None of them paid their taxes to the state government.”
Mr. Affi said though the state government appreciated and acknowledged the contributions of private health establishments in the state, the right things must be done in order to sanitise the system in order to save lives.
He then urged those operating or those who wished to open private clinics to seek for clearance from the ministry and to ensure that their particulars were up to date.
He assured them that the state government would deal decisively with erring health professionals in the state, noting, however, that the state government was committed to initiating more good health policies in order to save lives.
He called on the public to report any quack medical practitioner to the ministry for appropriate action.
The Nigeria Police and officials of the state’s Internal Revenue Services were among the inspection team.