LAGOS DOCTORS/GOVT FACE-OFF: 1,116 ADDITIONAL PRIVATE HOSPITALS DRAFTED FOR FREE HEALTHCARE
Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Lagos State chapter, has said an additional 1,116 private hospitals have been drafted to offer free treatment in Lagos State to support the earlier 84 private hospitals earmarked making it a total 1,200 facilities.
Reviewing the performance of the earlier 84 hospitals earmarked to offer free services, the Chairman, AGPMPN, Dr. Olayinka Oladosu, noted that the intention of the centres was to ameliorate the situation and not to be total substitute to government hospitals. 'Even the 1,200 centres cannot solve all the problems,' he said.
Oladosu, however, declared that not all the government hospitals were closed down and patients were being referred from the private hospitals to government hospitals still running. His words: 'Concerning the 1,200 centres, we are trying to ameliorate, we cannot solve all the problems. However, the services the centres are offering are actually free. Though there are some government hospitals that are still functioning like General Hospital, Igando, Mainland General Hospital, Harvey Road, Yaba.
'If the case is beyond what the private hospitals can handle, we take the patients in our vehicles to government hospitals that are still functioning. If the emergencies are what we can handle, we treat them.'
On the issue that not all the 1,200 private hospitals were contacted before listing them, Oladosu debunked the insinuation that AGPMPN was pro-government, stating that the association was neither pro-government nor pro-Lagos doctors but pro-masses and the down trodden in the society. 'We have received a lot of calls from our colleagues outside Lagos, whether the government is teleguiding us. The decision to draft 1,200 private hospitals to help out while the crisis lasts was reached in good faith and not in any way to be perceived as a pro-government agenda.
'It is not also meant to spite or scuttle the ongoing efforts and appeals for quick resolution of the current crises between the medical guild and Lagos State Government. This position is purely based on humanitarian consideration and out of concern by the medical profession for the masses that are directly affected by this crisis, the pains and sufferings of the common man in Lagos State. 'We earnestly pray for quick resolution of the crisis. Our sincere appreciation also goes to all well-meaning Lagosians for the patience exhibited so far.'
He further called for a health summit where all medical professionals, including doctors, pharmacists, nurses, laboratory scientists and other stakeholders would sit and chart the way forward for the health sector.