Bill for FMC Uli passes second reading in Senate

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The bill for the establishment of the Federal Medical Centre, Uli, Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State passed second reading on Wednesday.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah representing Anambra South.

The Senate also fixed January 31, 2023 for a public hearing on two of the senator’s bills namely; The Bill for the establishment of Federal Orthopaedic Hospital, Ukpor and the Bill for the establishment of Federal Medical Center, Uli.

The Bill for an Act to provide the legal framework to establish the Federal Medical Centre, Uli Anambra State, and other related matters, 2023 (SB. 487) was sponsored by the Senator representing Anambra South and candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) for the 2023 Anambra South Senatorial election, Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah.

Leading the debate on the bill, Ubah called on relevant authorities and stakeholders to always make the provision of adequate health care for citizens a priority.

According to him, there is a need to bridge the existing gap between primary healthcare, secondary healthcare, and tertiary healthcare delivery in the country.

Senator Ubah also disclosed that the bill was put together in response to the desires of his constituents, women and children who are in dire need of well-equipped healthcare centres.

Speaking further on the importance of the bill which passed its first reading on July 22, 2020, Senator Ubah said that the gap between primary, secondary and specialist healthcare in Nigeria is widening and that there is no seamless transition from one to the other due to several factors which include access to medical facilities, affordability of Medicare, as well as inadequate medical personnel at primary and secondary healthcare levels.

The YPP senatorial candidate  further maintained that the Federal Medical Centre, like its counterparts around the world, is envisioned as a multidisciplinary space for treatment, research, harnessing science and developing innovative means of tackling the numerous health challenges bedevilling the nation.

He said that when established, the Federal Medical Centre, Uli would provide facilities for diagnosis, preventive, curative and rehabilitative service in medical treatment for Ihiala Community, Anambra South residents, Anambrarians and Nigerians in general.

Senator Ubah also said that when established, the Federal Medical Centre, Uli would support and provide an enabling environment for the medical training of personnel as the Board may consider necessary, run effective and cost-effective medical services for Nigerians, and review and update medical findings and research from time to time.

He added that it would further provide services in specialized areas like Neuro-surgery, Cardiology, Urology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Radiotherapy, Ear Nose and Throat Treatment (ENT), Gynecology, Psychiatry, Nuclear Medicine and other fields of Medicine that may be required by his constituents, ndị Anambra and Nigerians in general, and urged the Senate to take a giant step in the right direction by allowing the Bill to pass second reading.

Speaking in favour of the bill, Senator Smart Adeyemi of Kogi West Senatorial District commended Senator Ubah for the bill and maintained that developing medical science and making it affordable for Nigerians is a necessity.

Senator Adeyemi also described the Bill as part of the aspirations of Nigerians as no one knows when he or she will need medical attention.

The Kogi West senator further called on all to join hands to support the provision of adequate healthcare for Nigerians and urged the Senate to allow the Bill to pass second reading.

Also speaking in support of the bill, the Senator representing Plateau South Senatorial District, Professor Nora Dadu’ut, said it would not only add value to Anambra South residents but also play a vital role in the promotion of quality health care globally because health is wealth.

Prof. Dadu’ut further commended Senator Ubah for sponsoring the Bill and declared her support for it.

Responding, Senate President Ahmed Lawan described the bill as an important move because the provision of adequate healthcare is a necessity.

Senator Lawan later conducted a voice vote, after which the Bill passed the second reading.
The Senate also referred the Bill to its Committee on Health and mandated it to report back within four weeks.

Also, January 31st, 2023, has been fixed for a public hearing on the Bill.

The Senate will also conduct a public hearing on Senator Ubah’s Bill for the establishment of the Federal Orthopaedic Hospital, Ukpor, which recently passed second reading on the same day.

It should be recalled that Senator Ubah has made uncommon efforts to support the provision of adequate healthcare for his constituents.

Recently, his bill for the establishment of the Federal Orthopaedic Hospital, Ukpor in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State passed second reading on the floor of the Senate.

The Senator has also made moves to facilitate the construction of the Sickle Cell Research and Treatment Centre in Nanka, Orumba North Local Government Area, he has also completed and handed over the St Patrick’s Hospital, Ula Ekwulobia in Aguata Local Government and Primary Health Care Centre, Uga in Aguata Local Government.

Primary health centres are also present at various stages of construction for Oraifite in Ekwusigo Local Government, Mbosi in Ihiala L.G.A and Ukpor in Nnewi South Local Government Area.

Recall also that when the nation was battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Ubah rose to the occasion by convening high-profile citizens under the umbrella of Anambra Progressives and Development Union (APDU) to build an ultramodern Medical and Isolation Centre at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (Permanent Site), Nnewi in Nnewi North Local Government Area.

His group, APDU also built the same ultramodern medical and isolation facility at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka the state capital, and both facilities which were completed within one year have since been handed over to the management of the aforementioned institutions.

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