Aisha Buhari may have unwittingly opened a can of worms in the Aso Rock Clinic, as the permanent secretary in charge of the State House, Mr Jalal Arabi admitted before a House of Representatives Committee that the first lady was right in saying that the clinic was in a deplorable state. The Assembly members, had summoned Araba, and several government officials following the alarm raised by the First Lady.
Mrs Buhari, had last month lamented the poor state of the clinic and called for a probe of the budget allocated to it. She made the statement at a meeting on Reproductive, Maternal, New Born, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH and N) in Abuja.
“Few weeks ago I was sick as well; they advised me to take a first flight to London; I refused to go. I said I must be treated in Nigeria because there is a budget for an assigned clinic to take care of us. If the budget was N100 million, we need to know the way the budget is spent”.
The permanent secretary, however blamed the poor state of the clinic on State House staff that received free treatment, despite registering for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) at other health facilities.
“ Almost 80% of the personnel serving in the State House access medical services at the State House Medical Centre, only about 20% of them selected the medical Centre as their NHIS point. The implication of the foregoing is that, whereas they access free medical services at the Centre, their respective NHIS contributions go to those medical facilities they selected as their providers, even though they do not go there for any medical service.
The high number of non paying patients, according to the permanent secretary led to drugs and consumables at the clinic being exhausted. Araba also complained that dcotors that had since left the service of the clinic, were still receiving allowances.