A bill seeking to provide the Legal Framework to establish a Federal Medical Center, FMC, in Rigasa, Kaduna state on Tuesday scaled the second reading in the Senate.
A statement on Tuesday by Mohammed Isa, the Special Assistant (Media) to Senate President Ahmad Lawan, said the bill was sponsored by Uba Sani, the Senator representing Kaduna Central.
In his lead debate on the bill on FMC, Mr Sani said it was in response to the yearnings of his constituents in Rigasa area.
The residents of the area, he said, watched helplessly on daily basis as women and children die due to lack of well-equipped healthcare centers.
He said, “this move for the establishment of the Federal Medical Centre is therefore informed by the need to bridge the existing gap between primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare delivery in Kaduna State and Nigeria as a whole.
“The gap between primary, secondary and specialist healthcare in Nigeria is widening.
“There is no seamless transition from one to the other due to a number of factors that include accessibility to medical facilities, affordability of medicare, as well as inadequate medical personnel at primary and secondary healthcare levels”.
He said the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, ABUTH, Zaria, the main tertiary healthcare institution in Kaduna State, is overpopulated and could no longer adequately meet the demands for specialist health care by the citizenry.
Senator Sani noted that the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital is already overstretched as it receives thousands of in and out patients monthly, with complex medical cases from the North of Nigeria being referred to it.
He said, “The Nigerian National Health Policy is very clear on the role of the different tiers of government in healthcare delivery.
“Primary healthcare is to be provided by Local Governments, secondary healthcare by State Governments and tertiary health care by the Federal Government.
“In making this policy operational, Federal Medical Centres (FMCs) fill vacuums created by either the non-existence or inadequacy of a Federal University Teaching Hospital In a State”, he said.