The House of Representatives has passed for second reading, a Bill seeking to convert and rename the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Annex (Comprehensive Health Centre) Ihima, Kogi State to Federal University Lokoja Teaching Hospital (FULTH).
The Bill also provides for the establishment of the FULTH Management Board and other related matters.
The Member representing Adavi/Okehi federal constituency of Kogi State, Hon Joseph Asuku Bello, who sponsored the Bill noted that the piece of legislation seeks to give life and return functionality to a Federal Government health facility in his constituency.
According to him, the facility has gone comatose, after it was established with the best of intentions at a huge cost to the federal government.
According to the lawmaker, the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital Annex also known as Comprehensive Health Centre Ihima was established in 1987 and was at that time well-staffed and equipped with facilities and infrastructure to enable it to perform the role of rendering comprehensive health services, not only to its immediate communities which include Okene town but also to the entire land area which now constitute Kogi State.
But over time, due to inadequate funding and other administrative and logistic issues resulting from state creation, which consequently situate the facility in Kogi State rather than Kwara State that hosts the parent Teaching Hospital at Ilorin, the facility became a shadow of itself.
“looking generally abandoned and rendering skeletal services with little or no motivation for staff and the physical structures including buildings, medical equipment, vehicles, amongst others in the general state of disrepair and nonfunctional.
“Another major reason is to enable the medical department in the university to have a teaching hospital attached to it, to enable accreditation under N.U.C standards,” he said.
Asuku added that “the proximity of the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja has made it difficult for my Constituents to access good medical services in cases of emergency which has led to loss of lives at some points.”
After the passage of the Bill for a second reading, it was consequently referred to the House Committee on Health Services for further legislative action.