The Lagos House of Assembly has urged Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to direct the state Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, to accredit more private hospitals to treat the people infected with coronavirus.
The assembly also made a resolution through voice votes that the governor should work with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on the fight against COVID-19.
The resolution was part of the House Motion No. 23, 2020 entitled: “Need To Allow Private Hospitals Participate In The Treatment of COVID-19 Patients”, moved by Mr Hakeem Sokunle (Oshodi/Isolo I) during plenary on Thursday.
Sokunle said that the assembly was happy with the efforts of the state government in fighting COVID-19 and the creation of seven isolation centres.
He said that the house noted that COVID-19 had kept spreading, based on report that over 11,000 people had contracted COVID-19.
Sokunle said they felt that private hospitals with necessary facilities should be involved in the treatment of the virus, adding that most of the doctors treating the patients were being paid by the state government.
He said: “The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) once warned its members over treatment of COVID-19 patients.
“We need to involve private hospitals so that they can support the state government and prevent another lockdown.
“If the government involves private doctors and members of the state chapter of NMA, and train them, it will be easy to handle.
“We urge Gov. Babajjde Sanwo-Olu to call on the commissioner for health to see how they can work with private hospitals in treating COVID-19 patients.
“The government should also find means of working with NMA on the treatment of the patients,” he said.
The lawmaker said that the state government should be empowered so that doctors in public hospitals would be able to train their counterparts in the private hospitals who would then be certified.
Sokunle said after that, they should screen the hospitals, validate their equipment and then certify and accredit them.
According to him, such hospitals can now admit COVID-19 patients, adding that government has approved seven private laboratories so far on coronavirus.
Sokunle noted that once the laboratories started working, they would have a lot of patients, hence the need for more hospitals.
With this, he said that they would avoid another lockdown to save the economy of the state.
In his comment, the Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, said it was important for the NMA to join hands with the government to reduce the spread of the disease.
“If we leave it to only doctors in government hospitals, the disease will spread further.
“It will spread more among people living in crowded houses and they are more than people living in flats and other self- contained apartments.
“We need to urge the government to call on the chairmen of local councils to work with council development areas (CDAs) to ensure that people living in crowded houses and those entering buses are compelled to use face masks.
“We also need more people to take care of COVID-19 patients. Also, government should pay the hospitals for the people they are treating,” he said.
In his comment, Noheem Adams (Eti Osa I) traced the history of COVID-19 and how it started in China in 2019 before getting to the state in February.
While commending the governor and the state commissioner for health for the way they had been handling the issue, he, however, expressed worries about the spread of the virus on daily basis.
Also contributing, Abiodun Tobun (Epe I) expressed the need to encourage doctors in private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients since they attended the same schools with their counterparts in public hospitals.