The Lagos State Government has picked around 1,065 illegal health institutions found to be violating various health laws. Accordingly, it will be moving in to arrest and prosecute the operators of these institutions.
In an effort to wipe out sub-standard hospitals, clinics and chemist shops which ' constitute immeasurable health hazards to its innocent citizens', the government had last week sealed up 235 illegal health facilities in different parts of the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who disclosed this at the stakeholders forum at the weekend, in addition, expressed the Governor (Babatunde Fashola's) displeasure with the poor disposal of medical waste by private health operators. He was quoted: "The situation is so bad that when we had the first Executive Council meeting of this administration, it was one of the issues we discussed."
Dr. Idris noted that of the 1,958 facilities monitored by the state Health Facilities Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA), only 1,062 were registered, out of which 706 were found to be defaulting while 904 were said to be unregistered.
He lamented the poor attitude of some qualified medical practitioners especially in the area of unlawful disposal of gauzes, needles, syringes and human parts removed during surgeries, warning that perpetrators would henceforth be prosecuted.
The commissioner stressed that the "government is ready to raise the standard of health facilities in the state and stop the operation of fake personnel or substandard health facilities in the state."
The closure of these health facilities according to Dr. Idris has become imperative. This is mainly due to their failure to comply with the laid down rules and regulations guiding health practice in the state. This has been in spite of a series of meetings and dialogues on the need for the operators to improve their sanitary habits and engage professionals in their operations.
Idris further explained that the exercise was part of an attempt to rid the state of unqualified medical practitioners as well as the unfriendly environment in which they operate.
Also speaking, the Director of HEFAMAA, Dr. Bolaji Akeremisi said that the Agency identified 168 facilities operating in an unhygienic environment; 160 with inadequate medical personnel 383 with no qualified personnel; 141 with substandard infrastructure and; 213 operating beyond the approved schedule within the period under review.