BREAKING: As Cash Crunch Bites, Zulum Directs Govt. Hospitals to Give Patients Free Drugs Worth N300m
By Ed Malik, A | |
posted February 15, 2023

“… To Engage BIRS for More POS, even MDs, PMOs express excitement”

Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, on Wednesday ordered the release of over N300 million worth of drugs and other medical supplies to government hospitals for free distribution to patients, most of whom were facing difficulties in making payments due to scarcity of new Naira notes and rejection of old ones.

Commissioner of Health and Human Services, Professor Mohammed Arab Alhaji disclosed this while unveiling the drugs at his ministry’s stores located along Baga road in Maiduguri.

The supplies included drugs for prevalent illnesses, maternal delivery kits, and other medical essentials.

The commissioner directed medical directors and principal medical officers of public healthcare centers in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council and Jere to quickly prepare procedural papers to receive their allocations for immediate deployment of the drugs and other supplies.

Arab emphasized that the drugs must be given free to patients that have no money at hand or those that have a problem accessing their funds to pay for their service.

He said officials will rely on patients to be honest because as Zulum noted, “while we know some people may have money and still demand free drugs by pretending they lack funds, we cannot because some dishonest people, refuse to help those in need”. 

Arab on behalf of health workers across the state, thanked Governor Zulum for once again, coming to the aid of patients during a critical period, a move which he described as humane.

Medical Directors and Principal Medical Officers of public hospitals identified with the Governor’s gesture in their joint response, saying that they were happy with Zulum for the release of the drugs. 

Speaking on their behalf, the Medical Director of the State Specialist Hospital, Dr. Baba Shehu Mohammed, said they were happier than the patients to benefit because they normally feel pained seeing patients unable to pay for diagnoses or buy drugs after prescriptions most times.

Dr. Mohammed spoke in the midst of Medical Directors and Principal Medical Officers in charge of Mohammed Shuwa Memorial Hospital, Umaru Shehu Ultra Modern Hospital, Maryam Abacha Women and Children Hospital, Eye Hospital, Dental Hospital, and Molai General Hospital, all of who witnessed Commissioner Arab’s unveiling of the multi-million Naira worth of drugs ordered by Governor Zulum to cushion effects of naira scarcity amongst patients.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner also disclosed that the State Ministry of Health was liaisoning with the Borno State Board of Internal Revenue which is responsible for all collections of payments in public hospitals, and the First Bank Plc which is the financial institution involved with the payment issues, towards providing more POS (point of sale) machines at public hospitals across the State.

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