ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State House of Assembly on Wednesday invoked its powers by passing a resolution summoning the commissioner for health, the eight local government chairmen and the heads of department of health in the LGAs over the deplorable state of Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs) across the state.
Other officials invited by the Assembly were the chairman and secretary of the Primary Health Care Development Board and the Director of Public Health in the state’s Ministry of Health.
The summoned officials were ordered to appear before the House Committees on Health and Local Government.
The resolution followed a motion moved by the member representing Ogbia Constituency 1, Chief Mietamar Obodor, during the sitting of the House on the need for functional health care centres in all the LGAs in the state.
According to Obodor, the fourth schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) deliberately created the third tier of government to bring governance and government activities closer to the people by providing the basic social amenities and services for their wellbeing.
He noted that a key component of the social services was functional healthcare centres that cater to the needs of the people.
He lamented that the health centres in the state which are directly under the control of the councils were either non-existent or in very deplorable conditions where they exist.
The lawmaker stressed that the great improvement in health facilities and policies of the state needed to be replicated at the local government level.
He added that the provision of functional and accessible health centres at the local government level superseded any other infrastructures.
Other lawmakers who spoke in favour of the motion affirmed that because of the neglect of primary health care at the council level, quack health practitioners were springing up thereby endangering the lives of the people.
They directed that the regulators of the sector in the state needed to step up their game.
Meanwhile, the House Joint Committee on Ijaw National Affairs and Culture and Tourism submitted its report on Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro and other Heroes Memorial Day Bill to the House.