What Reps probing Aso Rock Clinic found about staff, families, allowances
The House of Representatives probing the management of the Aso Rock Clinic yesterday has said the life of the president and his family members are at risk with the current state of the health facility.
President Muhammadu Buhari has spent about three months altogether going to the U.K to take care of his health when billions have been allotted to the clinic in the last three years.
The committee said there is a need to have an effective health management in place in case of an emergency, according to the chairman of the committee, Magaji Aliyu.
He told Ismaila Kawu, Senior Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters (House), Ita Enang, Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Osagie Ehanire, Minister of State for Health, and representatives of Muhammad Bello, FCT Minister, at the National Assembly complex, Abuja.
Both minsters admitted they didn’t know much of the activities of the State House Clinic, and that was of concern to the lawmakers.
“The summary of the whole thing is that the clinic is just there, it is not supervised and is not under anybody,” Aliyu said.
According to the report presented by the State House Permanent Secretary to the committee, out of 329 staffers working in the State House Clinic, 47 non-core medical personnel for several years illegally collected call-duty allowances.
It alleged that some doctors sponsored by the State House to proceed on residency programmes (usually two years), got their call duty allowances paid even when they were no longer performing call duties at the medical center.
“Sadly, some of them were discovered to have spent close to seven years doing a residency, with many changing institutions, as they fail to qualify,” the permanent secretary told lawmakers.
“In view of the fact that paying doctors on a sponsored training programme, call duty allowance was considered unearned allowances, IPPIS (OAGF) was advised to cease paying them such allowances, pending their return to duty from training.”
The Permanent Secretary also blamed 80 percent of the State House workers and their spouses for enjoying free medical services, despite their failure to enlist on the State House Clinic’s National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS.
“The State House reached an agreement with HMOs with regard to the remittance of all NHIS payments in respect of State House staff whose NHIS point is the State House Medical Centre.”
‘’It is instructive, however, to note that whereas 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 center as their NHIS point. “
“The implication of the foregoing is that, whereas they access free medical services at the center, 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.”
‘’This explains the quick depletion of the drugs and other consumables due to the very high number of patients being attached,” he said.
First Lady Aisha public outcry about the state of the clinic sparked off discussions about the budget and management of the facility. It equally led to the probe by the House of Reps.