Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Bello has assured that the FCT administration has no plans whatsoever to shut down the Garki District Hospital in the nation’s capital.
The minister said the 15-year concession agreement signed between the FCTA and the Nisa Medical Group on the management of the hospital expired yesterday, after which the hospital reverted to the FCTA to enable the administration to provide more public hospital bed spaces.
Bello said contrary to rumours making the rounds, the FCTA has no plan to disrupt the operations of the hospital even for a day following the expiration of the concession agreement.
The minister who gave the assurance when he received the executive members of the FCT branch of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) led by its chairman, Dr. Enema Job Amodu, on a courtesy visit to the FCTA, said the concession agreement had an expiration date as assented to by both parties.
“The FCT administration is not terminating the Garki District Hospital Concession. Even our distinguished chairman here said to terminate, but it is not so. The situation is that an agreement was entered 15 years ago and mutually accepted by the FCT Administration and the Nisa Medical Group. It was an agreement that had a commencement date and an expiration date.
“So, by the agreement, it is supposed to expire on Thursday, 31st March 2022, a natural termination. So, it’s not the FCT terminating the agreement. That is what we need to understand.
“The whole idea of PPP arrangement is very good. It was the first that was done and, after that, we have done a couple of PPPs in infrastructure. Even within our existing hospitals, we are now working on a model where certain specialised departments would be run on a PPP arrangement. The whole idea is to expand the hospital space, to expand the specialty space. So, we are not terminating anything. It’s an agreement that is going to lapse,” he said.
The minister further said that the government has the responsibility to provide health care to residents of the FCT and shutting down the hospital will go contrary to that responsibility.
“So, how could we just shut our hospital, while we have been given the mandate to provide healthcare. So many people tell me that Garki hospital will be shut down, so many people will lose their jobs, I just find it difficult to comprehend, quite frankly. How can a government just shut a hospital,” he said.
The minister assured that FCTA officials and the Nisa Group would work on modalities moving forward adding that whatever arrangement was reached thereafter will be in the best interest of residents of the territory and other patrons of the hospital outside the FCT.
He also assured that all medical professionals working or training at the hospital who wish to remain there were free to do so as the administration does not have any intention to disrupt any activity at the hospital