In a proactive move to assess the condition of Federal Government Health Institutions in Lagos, the Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Tunji Alausa, conducted oversight visits with the aim of understanding their current state, identifying areas of excellence, and addressing challenges to improve healthcare outcomes for citizens.
Dr. Alausa’s first stop was the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), where he was visibly impressed by the state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. He emphasized the government’s commitment to research and innovation, highlighting President’s determination to reform the healthcare system. He charged the Director General of NIMR, Prof. Babatunde Salako, to strengthen research efforts, stating, “To strengthen our healthcare system, we have to strengthen research, if we strengthen research, we will innovate, any country that does not innovate remains undeveloped.”
Addressing the issue of inadequate funding, the Minister pledged to allocate substantial budgets to the institute to address critical areas. He also encouraged NIMR to seek funds from international research and grant agencies, vowing to revitalize research infrastructure in Nigeria.
At the Federal Neuro-psychiatric Hospital (FNPH) Yaba, Dr. Alausa expressed concern over the growing problem of substance abuse in Nigeria. He underscored the government’s commitment to combat drug abuse and strengthen mental health services. He assured the management of FNPH Yaba of government intervention to address the challenge of human resource shortages in healthcare, particularly doctors and nurses.
Dr. Alausa announced plans to double the enrollment rate of doctors and dentists from 5,000 to 10,000 in the next academic year. He also pledged to increase the production of nurses from 50,000 to 80,000 annually, acknowledging the need to meet the healthcare demands of Nigeria’s population.
Regarding energy issues and the high cost of power supply at these institutions, the Minister promised to collaborate with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to support alternative energy solutions.
Furthermore, Dr. Alausa committed to expediting pending waivers and improving overhead releases by engaging with the Ministry of Budget and Economy Planning. These measures reflect the government’s dedication to enhancing the healthcare sector and ensuring the well-being of the populace.