By Shola Adewunmi
The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday 9th July, 2020 called on Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu to direct the state Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi to accredit more private hospitals to treat those that are infected with Coronavirus aka COVID-19.
The Governor was also urged to work with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on the fight against COVID-19.
The issue was part of the resolutions of the Assembly on Motion Number 23, 2020 entitled; “Need To Allow Private Hospitals Participate In The Treatment of COVID-19 Patients,” by Hon. Hakeem Sokunle (Oshodi/Isolo 1) during plenary.
According to Sokunle, “the House notes the efforts of the Lagos State Government in fighting COVID-19 and the creation of seven isolation centres.
“The House notes that COVID-19 keeps spreading based on report that over 11,000 people gave contracted COVID-19.
“We feel that private hospitals with the necessary facilities should be involved in the treatment.
“Most of the doctors treating the patients are being paid by the state government.
“The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) once warned their members over treatment of COVID-19 patients. We need to involve private hospitals so that they could support the state government and prevent another lockdown.
“If the government involves private doctors and members of the state chapter of NMA, and train them, it will be easy to handle.
“We call on the state Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu to call on the state Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi to see how we could work with private hospitals to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“We call on Governor Babajjde Sanwo-Olu to call on the state Commissioner for Health to see how they can work with private hospitals on treating COVID-19 patients.
The government should also find means of working with NMA on the great of the patients.”
Sokunle added that the state government admits people that test positive and discharge those who test negative in the isolation centres.
He then said that the state government should be empowered so that doctors in public hospitals would train doctors that work in private hospitals who would then be certified.
“After that, we should screen the hospitals and validate their equipment, certify them and accredit the hospitals.
“Such hospitals can now admit COVID-19 patients. The government has approved seven private laboratories so far on COVID-19.
“Once the laboratories start work, we will have a lot of patients hence the need for more hospitals.
“With this, we will avoid another lockdown to save the economy of the state. It will also encourage private practitioners to join us on the care of COVID-19,” he said
In his comment, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said that it was important that the NMA join hands with the government to reduce the spread of the disease.
Obasa stated that the doctors that are working with the government should train the doctors in private hospitals.
“If we leave it to only doctors in government hospitals, the disease would spread further.
“It will spread more among people living in crowded houses and they are more than people living in flats and other self contain buildings.
“We need to urge the government to call on the chairmen of local councils to work with CDAs to ensure that people living in crowded houses use face masks as well as those entering buses.
“We also need more people to take care of COVID-19 patients. Also, the government should pay the hospitals for the people they are treating,” he said.
In his comment, Hon. Noheem Adams (Eti Osa 1) traced the history of COVID-19 and how it started in China in 2019, and got to Lagos State in February, 2020.
While commending the Governor of the State and the state Commissioner for Health with the way they are handling the issue, he said that the virus keeps spreading everyday and that some people were yet believe that there is COVID-19 in the state.
Also contributing, Hon. Abiodun Tobun (Epe 1) said that there was need to encourage doctors in private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients since they attended the same schools with those in public hospitals.
Hon. Lukmon Olumoh (Ajeromi/Ifelodun 1) stated that the Lagos State government had done much on the issue with seven laboratories and accreditation of three private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients.
He added that the virus is all over the world, and that the government should not handle the matter with levity.
In his contribution, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa 2) said that COVID-19 has now become a communal infection.
“We need to have more test centres. We have capacity to test 2,000 people in a day.
“People don’t want to go far and some people are avoiding stigma. The Lagos State Governor and the Commissioner are trying, but we need more private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients,” he said.
Also speaking, Hon. Mojisola Macaulay (Amuwo Odofin 1) stated that there was need to accredit more private hospitals to deal with COVID-19 so that the state could combat the virus and reduce the number of the people being infected.
This was also supported by Hon. Sola Solaja (Ikorodu 2),
Hon. AbdulSobur Olayiwola (Mushin 2), Hon. Kehinde Joseph (Alimosho 2), Hon. Rotimi Abiru (Shomolu 2) and Hon. Bisi Yusuf (Alimosho 1).
Meanwhile the House has confirmed two Governor’s nominees that appeared before the Assembly on Thursday.
They were Mrs Omobolanle Adesola, nominee for the position of the Chairperson of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and Mr. Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, who was nominated as the Chairman of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF).