The Lagos State Government has commenced phased refurbishment and renovation of all general hospitals in the state.
This is in line with the current administration’s medical infrastructure blueprint strategy which is aimed at revamping health facilities and making them fit for purpose.
This disclosure was made by the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, after a facility inspection tour of 2 secondary health facilities, Ebute Metta and Harvey Road Health Centres, that have been approved for refurbishment in 2021.
The commissioner pointed out that the refurbishment and renovation strategy which commenced last year would address the issues of design faults, drainage, patient flow, staff flow, water collection, infection prevention compliance or non-compliance, energy and ventilation.
What the Lagos State Commissioner of Health is saying
Abayomi said, “Mr Governor already knows the state of the General Hospitals and his mandate is that we do a deep refurbishment in all the general hospitals and bring them all up to the standard that is acceptable globally. Instead of repairing the general hospitals in little pieces every year, we are coming to a number of hospitals every year to do a complete refurbishing so that by the time we finish, it will look like a brand new hospital. We intend to refurbish between six-eight hospitals in a year.’’
He noted that 8 hospitals have been earmarked for deep refurbishment in 2021 in addition to the ones started last year, adding that the refurbishment and renovation project would also focus on bringing down the carbon footprints in the medical infrastructure and embracing renewable energy like solar, inverters and natural ventilators.
He said, “We are trying to keep the hospitals on low energy and low carbon footprints; we don’t want the Medical Directors to spend their IGR on diesel and fueling Generators. So, where we can cool a building down naturally and use renewable energy like solar or natural ventilators or inverters, we would do that just to bring down the carbon footprints of all our medical infrastructure and reduce the use of fossil fuel and generally, redesign the building or rehabilitate it to be a lot cooler, among others.’’
He disclosed that repair and the refurbishment would be carried out in such a way that it would not allow for major repairs in another decade except for continuous maintenance that would be done by the hospital management in collaboration with the Lagos State Infrastructure and Asset Maintenance Agency (LASIAMA).
The Commissioner averred that the State government has embarked on some Greenfield medical infrastructure projects to prevent issues noticed in health infrastructure across all levels of care in the State, stressing that all issues bedevilling medical health infrastructure will disappear when Governor Sanwo-Olu’s Medical Infrastructure Blueprint strategy is rolled out.
He also said, “With the ongoing refurbishment and roll out of the Governor’s medical infrastructure blueprint, the medical infrastructure landscape of the State would look completely different. Our attention would focus on maintenance because there is no point coming in doing a deep refurbishment only to allow it to disintegrate afterwards”.
“Once we have done a deep refurbishment, we have an agency that is responsible for maintenance and they are part of the refurbishment strategy and once we finish, then we are going to have what we call a maintenance culture to make sure the infrastructure does not suffer dilapidation due to neglect. All the engineers on-site would focus on maintenance and LASIAMA would come in and set up a facility the management programme and make sure the deep refurbishment done is adequately maintained.’’
What this means
- This is coming at a time when there is an increasing clamour for the government’s investment in public health facilities especially during this period of the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, which clearly exposed the decay in the health sector across the country.
- This is exacerbated by the poor funding of the sector by governments at all level in the country, which falls below the 15% benchmark of the budget which was recommended by the African Union in 2001 to promote healthcare delivery across the country.