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Regional News of Sunday, 22 January 2023


NHIS, JCHIMA patients decry poor service provision at Jigawa teaching hospital

The photo used to illustrate the story The photo used to illustrate the story

Patients who subscribed to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and Jigawa State Contributory Health Insurance Management Agency (JCHIMA) are groaning over the poor service delivery at the Rasheed Shekoni, Federal University Dutse Teaching Hospital (FUDTH).

The patients, whose cost of treatment are covered by the NHIS and the JCHIMA, have accused the management of the hospital of using the scheme to defraud them.

The clients of these schemes, who are mostly federal and Jigawa State civil servants, told PREMIUM TIMES that they are displeased with the service rendered at the hospital.

Rufa’i Adamu, one to the subscribers of the NHIS, said the insurance scheme has not been up to par with service delivery.

“I subscribed with the hospital through the NHIS for over a decade now, although I had been enjoyed the scheme severally without much problem, but of recent, lack of enough of these drugs and other things came up” Mr Adamu stressed.

“I got an accident recently, where I have dislocation in my left lower arm leg, when I went to the hospital to have a treatment, I met a Doctor who examined me and referred me to the radiology for X-ray and at the same time prescribed some pain reliever drugs for me,” Mr Adamu added.

He said when he went to the X-ray department, the attendant told him that there are no file jackets to put the X-ray result so he was asked to go and return the following week.

“I came back the following week, the attendant told me the same story he told me the week before, that I cannot be given the services because there are no file jackets still. That the management of the hospital is yet to provide the jackets. So I should go and come back in another day,” Mr Adamu lamented.

“To my greatest disappointment when I came back for the third time on the third week, the story remains the same. There was no jacket. The attendant suggested to me that if I want to be X-rayed in the hospital, I can bring the old jacket if I have so that they will help me and do it,” Mr Adamu explained.

Also Mr Abdullahi Ali, a staff of the Nigeria Correctional Service in Dutse, also complained about the poor services at the hospital.

He said last year, when he visited the hospital for treatment for a bad eye, the hospital could not provide the drug he required.

“When I got to the pharmacy department, they told me there was none the drugs and the eye drops available. Look at the prescription paper, they said they don’t have it. I got to the NHIS and complained. They referred me back to the management of the facility, so I don’t know what to do,” Mr Abdullahi said.

When reached for comment, the Deputy Medical Director of the hospital, Sulaiman Alhassan, said the problems was caused by the transition of the hospital between the Jigawa state government and the federal government over the ownership of the FUDTH.

“The hospital was transferred from the state to the federal government about five years ago, where the federal government converted the facility to a teaching hospital for the Federal University Dutse (FUD)”, hiMr Alhassan explained.

He said the hospital has been transferred to the Federal government since 2017, but the transition was yet to be completed.

He said since the transition process the Jigawa State government stopped paying for the overhead cost to the hospital.

“Another problem is the rising inflation in the country which is seriously affecting our services. The present high cost of things in the market and in our day to day activities is another factor that is affecting the services of the clinic,” Mr Alhassan said.

He said the manpower at the hospital is inadequate.

“We are also battling with the problem of unemployment. We don’t have enough manpower in the hospital community, because of the economic situation in the country, government cannot do everything for us,” Mr Alhassan said.

He, therefore, called on the state government to restore the overhead cost to the hospital or the federal government should fully take over the facility, for effective services and use.