Over 100 doctors and other medical workers at the Garki Hospital in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) may soon lose their jobs, findings by Daily Trust has shown.
This is as a result of the expiration of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between Nisa Premier Hospital, the current managers of Garki Hospital, and the FCT Administration.
Daily Trust understands that a total of 900 workers will be affected by the development. They include 21 consultants, 113 medical doctors, 24 house officers, 159 nurses, 96 patient care attendants, pharmacists, medical record officers, laboratory scientists and other technicians.
Sources at the hospital told Daily Trust that on March 1, 2022, the FCT administration gave the hospital management a notice to vacate and hand over the facility to them on April 1, 2022.
Daily Trust learnt that in 2007, Nisa Premier Hospital and the FCT administration signed a 15-year concession agreement.
After the agreement was signed, the FCT administration removed all equipment in the then General Hospital.
Nisa Premier Hospital reportedly started equipping the hospital from the scratch. Currently, all equipment in the hospital is said to be owned by Nisa Premier Hospital.
The sources said the management of the hospital had written three letters to the FCT administration appealing for a review of the concession agreement but it did not get any response till March 1 when the FCT administration wrote a letter informing the hospital of its intention to take over the facility.
Findings further reveal that if the FCT Administration insists on taking over the hospital, over 3000 patients with different health conditions may be displaced and many types of equipment would be damaged because they need a much longer time to be re-calibrated before removal.
The Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) FCT Chapter, Dr Enema Amodu, expressed concern over the short notice by the FCT Administration for the Nisa Premier Hospital to vacate the facility.
He called on the FCT administration to rethink its decision for the sake of the over 900 workers of the hospital and patients who are in long-term intensive care.
Amodu said if the FCT will not consider it appropriate to renew the concession agreement, then it should give the hospital management at least 12 months to plan and vacate the premises.
He said, “Apart from the over 900 workers, there are patients that are on long term intensive care that will require suitable arrangements so that they can continue to receive life-saving medications.
“There are several medical doctors, pharmacists, and nurses receiving postgraduate residency training and other house officers. They need time for them to complete their trainings or have an alternative for them to continue without disruption. One month is too short for all these to happen.
“Also, there are staff who are residing in quarters within the premises, giving them one month to vacate and secure accommodation, is not fair enough.
“Remember that the hospital has a lot of sensitive ICT equipment, how do you expect such equipment to be removed in a hurry and not be damaged?
“It is important we appreciate the standard and level of health care services the hospital has provided to residents of the FCT and reward them by extending the agreement.
“I am appealing that the FCT administration take a look at the chain of effects their decision will cause and consider renewing the concession agreement or give the hospital more time to vacate.”
When contacted, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and strategic communication, to the FCT Minister, Malam Abubakar Sani, said there was no crisis between the FCT administration and the management of Nisa Premier Hospital.
While calling for calm, Sani said the relationship between the hospital management and the FCT administration is like a tenant and his landlord, which will be resolved amicably.
“I understand the hospital is discussing with the FCT Administration following the expiration of the concession agreement. When they finally agree, a technical team will be set up to look at areas that need review.”
“I, therefore, insist that there is no cause for worry by anyone because both parties are not in any crisis. We need the services of the hospital for our people, hence, no need for panic,” he said.