The Health and Human Services Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has said six health facilities were shut down in the territory in the last one year for engaging in unwholesome practices.
The Director, Medical and Diagnostics of the secretariat, Dr Abubakar Ahmadu, who spoke with Daily Trust, said the department which had the responsibility of registering and monitoring hospitals in the FCT upped its game during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Dr Ahmadu said the facilities, hospitals, clinics and laboratories, were closed for engaging in practices that were inimical to the health of the residents of the territory.
He said, “I don’t want to go into names; that will be a difficult matter, those are a little confidential, but I can tell you that we shut down up to six facilities in the last one year.
“One of the owners of the facilities wanted to be seeing patients online, meaning that he wasn’t going to physically examine them but will just be seeing them online. There’s a danger in that aspect of care. You can have headache and it is severe hypertension, but the doctor who has seen you online will just say take paracetamol. At least a doctor needs to check some basic vital signs like blood pressure and temperature.
“Or somebody may have small pain in the right side of his abdomen and the online doctor will tell him to take an analgesic; it might be an appendix. So, there needs to be a relationship between the patient and the facility; not just an online thing, and so it wasn’t possible to allow that to happen.”
He further explained that another facility without the requisite qualification and authorisation decided to provide COVID-19 services.
He said, “Unfortunately for that particular facility, some of the staff were already infected when we shut it down. When we shut down the facility and asked them to go and do COVID-19 testing, some of them turned out to be positive. We don’t know whether they got it from outside or it was in the process of collecting samples for COVID-19 testing.”
While assuring that the department would ensure that the over 900 private health facilities in the FCT offered quality care to residents, he urged patients to always report harmful and unethical practices to the secretariat for appropriate action.