Hospitals lament poor power supply, declining healthcare

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Authorities in public and private hospitals have lamented the poor power supply situation amid the high cost of diesel in the country.

The officials of the hospitals who spoke with our correspondent also say the poor power supply is affecting healthcare delivery.

The Federal Government had threatened to revoke the licences of power Distribution Companies over persistent poor power supply across the country, but the situation has not changed much.

The situation is partially attributed to the over $1bn indebtedness to gas producers who provide the gas required for running thermal gas-fired power plants.

The spokesman of the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr Tayo Haastrup, said, “We are spending a lot of money to buy diesel in this hospital, we spend millions monthly, but we have to provide healthcare for the people, we have to look for money to buy diesel when the light is unstable because this is a hospital.

“Where is the money to buy diesel? Diesel is expensive. There are oxygen plants and if we want to carry out a surgical operation, we have to ensure there is power supply.”

The Chief Medical Director of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Prof Wasiu Adeyemo, also lamented that the poor power supply is a national challenge, particularly affecting the Federal Health Institutions.

Adeyemo stated, “The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Pate, and the Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Tunji Alausa are aware of this, and efforts are ongoing to reduce the burden.

“The Federal Government is making plans to give hospitals alternative energy, especially renewable energy, and I think for the hospitals we need to combine the renewable energy and the energy coming from the DisCos.

“I guess in the next year, most of us will be self-sufficient when it comes to energy but presently, we are struggling, and the government is aware and they are making efforts on this, and I’m aware it is part of the plan of the ministry of health for all the FHIs in the country.”

Also, the President of the Association of Nigerian Private Medical Practitioners, Dr Kayode Adesola said the epileptic power supply is choking healthcare delivery in the country.

“The hospitals need light for so many reasons, the health sector needs to be prioritised when it comes to power supply, and special consideration should be given to the health facilities.

“The health providers are sweating and we are getting choked, energy is our major overhead, especially in the private sector. The government should give attention to the private hospitals. It is choking and everybody is complaining,” Adesola lamented.

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