BILL FOR AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTRE, OBUKPA, NSUKKA, ENUGU STATE – SPONSORED BY DISTINGUISHED SENATOR CHUKWUKA UTAZI, PASSES SECOND READING.
The Senate on Tuesday, read for the second time the Bill for an Act to establish the Federal Medical Centre, Obukpa, Nsukka, Enugu State.
Presenting a lead debate on Federal Medical Centre Obukpa, Nsukka, Enugu State (Establishment Bill 2022), titled “A BILL FOR AN ACT TO PROVIDE THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK TO ESTABLISH THE FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTRE, OBUKPA NSUKKA ENUGU STATE AND OTHER RELATED MATTERS (SB 599), the sponsor of the Bill and Senator representing Enugu North Senatorial District of Enugu State, Distinguished Senator Chukwuka Utazi, bemoaned the poor medical infrastructure in his Senatorial District to meet the healthcare needs of his constituents and citizens of the boarder communities around the area.
According to Senator Utazi, “Enugu North Senatorial District densely populated and commanding more than half of Enugu State, regrettably is without Tertiary health Institution for referrals from secondary health institutions that dot the Senatorial District.”
Senator Utazi added that Enugu North Senatorial District is in the centre and share boarders with Kogi and Benue States, consequent upon which majority of the residents of the boarder communities seek medical care in Nsukka due to the far distance of the tertiary institutions in Lokoja and Makurdi. This, he said, puts enormous pressure on the inadequate primary and secondary health institution in the Senatorial District and regretted that the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, is located at the extreme and on the way out of Enugu to Abia/Imo States and to the South South region.
“The implications are monumental and disastrous because, before you transport patients on referrals to either UNTH Ituku-Ozalla or to ESUTH Teaching Hospital in Enugu, what you would be conveying is the remains of the patient to the morgues, as he or she would have died long before getting anywhere near the referred hospitals,” he said.
On the reason for proposing to site the Medical Centre in Obukpa, Senator Utazi stated that Obukpa was the originally proposed site for the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, but the Teaching Hospital was moved to Ituku-Ozalla due to vested interest of the powers that be at the time.
He said that good news is that there are existing hospital blocks built for the takeoff of the University Teaching Hospital Obukpa which are now skeletally being used as a health centre by the UNTH Ituku-Ozalla.
He informed the Senate that he has committed part of his Zonal Intervention for the past two years to renovating the building and other health facilities in the now abandoned site. He has bought an ambulance and dug borehole and done other things to show preparedness to host a Federal Medical Centre in Enugu North Senatorial District.
Recall that on Wednesday, 26th January, 2022, the Senate passed the Public Health Emergency Bill sponsored by the ever performing Senator Utazi who is the Chairman Senate Committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases.
Hopes are high that this Bill on the establishment of the Federal Medical Centre Obukpa, will be passed by the Senate and subsequently be assented to by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Stephen C. Ozor