Member representing Kabba Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. TeeJay Yusuf has lamented the prolonged closure of the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja, saying the development has brought agonizing pains to people across Kogi State.
He appealed to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osaige Ehanire to urgently reopen the FMC which is within his powers to do for the sake of the masses.
The lawmaker said the Federal Medical Centre is the only best medical facilities available in the State, lamenting that the prolonged closure of the centre in Lokoja meant more deaths for patients whose health complications would have been better managed.
Yusuf stressed that the call to the Minister became necessary as a result of the high number of deaths and economic losses due to the closure.
The lawmaker maintained that medical services offered by the institution was beyond ethnic and political inclination, noting that he was adding his voice to the earlier call by the Kogi State House of Assembly for reopening of the institution.
He was pained that an ailment that should have been treated in the FMC, Lokoja now requires people to travel to Abuja and other states in the South West for treatment amid insecurity challenge all over the places.
“Since then, our people have been travelling all the way to Abuja or Akure, Ibadan and Lagos for health conditions that could otherwise be treated at FMC Lokoja; patients with prior medical appointments now face the rigours of travelling even, at the risk of further complicating their health challenges.
He said: “Two months ago, members of the Kogi State House of Assembly made an appeal which was ignored in Abuja. Also, at various fora, concerned individuals of Kogi State have respectively called for the opening of FMC Lokoja.
“Four months ago, FMC Lokoja, the only Federal health facility in the confluence state that offers quality, professional services to indigenes and residents of the State was closed on the orders of the Federal Ministry of Health following an alleged invasion of the hospital by thugs.
“Many indigent patients are now forced to live in precarious conditions and several of those who can’t afford the trips to Abuja or other cities face increased likelihood of death,” said Hon. Yusuf who explained that there is no way the Medical Centre’s services can be replicated for now.
“I want to appeal and even as the people from all three Senatorial District are appealing to the conscience of the Minister of Health and the Federal Government of Nigeria to reopen the facility.
“The Centre has some of the best hands in most fields of medical care, including expert eye surgeons and one of the very best cardiologists in Nigeria.
The lawmaker regretted the shameful invasion of the facility by thugs allegedly sponsored in the heat of COVID-19, describing the development as senseless which the citizens are now at the receiving end.