President Buhari directs harmonisation of military health facilities

President Muhammadu Buhari has advised the Nigerian Armed Forces to harmonise the medical services of the three arms of the military to avoid waste and duplication of efforts.

The President was speaking on Thursday in Bauchi State, while inaugurating a 60-bed ultra-modern Nigeria Air Force Reference Hospital within the Air Force Base in Bauchi, the state capital.

He pointed out that such streamlining of the military medical systems would eventually lead to the re-establishment of the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) that was disbanded in 1976.

I implore the Armed Forces to establish a system that will ensure unity of effort in the articulation of joint medical policies for the three Services. This will eventually serve as a precursor to the establishment of the Armed Forces Medical Services as envisaged in the Defence Policy of Nigeria. The disbandment of the AFMS in 1976 encouraged each Service to develop and upgrade its own healthcare facilities in order to optimise the utilisation of medical resources and avoid duplication of efforts and saving the country’s scarce resources, the President said.

Counterinsurgency efforts

President Buhari noted that the hospital would boost the counterinsurgency efforts of the armed forces because of its proximity to the theatres of ongoing military operations in the Northeast, as it would reduce the long distance in evacuating casualties to similar facilities in Jos and Kaduna.

He commended the Service Chiefs for giving priority to the welfare of troops and declared that the Reference Hospital symbolised the commitment of his administration to the welfare of the armed forces.

The President added that apart from serving military personnel, the hospital, which was equipped to international standard, would be available to civilians in emergencies and help tackle the scourge of grave ailments like cancer in Nigeria.

Modern Equipment

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, disclosed that the new hospital boasts of modern diagnostic equipment, maternal and new born baby care facilities, x-ray and mammogram sections, cancer screening centre, renal dialysis section, dental and eye clinics, as well as life support equipment, among others.

Although the hospital was established to provide care to personnel of the Nigerian Airforce NAF and indeed the Armed Forces, its services have been extended to host communities as it has been the tradition in the NAF. We hope this will further enhance the cordial relationship that already exists between the NAF and the communities, he stated.

After the commissioning, the President paid a courtesy call on the Emir of Bauchi, Sarki Rilwanu Sulaiman, who heaped praises on him for appointing several indigenes of Bauchi state into top federal positions, including the Chief of Air Staff; Chairman of INEC; Comptroller General of Customs; Minister of Education, among others.

The monarch, who requested for more federal presence in Bauchi, including the dualisation of Bauchi- Jos, Bauchi-Yola- Potiskum roads, presented Buhari with a copy of the Holy Qur’an.

In his very brief response, President Buhari said he knew the Qur’an signified justice and you are reminding me that if I am doing justice in my position. I will say that I am doing my best.

At the ceremonies were the chief host, Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, Governor of Adamawa State, Jibrilla Bindow; Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin; Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali; Minister of Interior, Abdurahman Danbazzau; Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; and other top government officials.

The President later inaugurated some new roads in Bauchi metropolis reconstructed by the State government as well as agricultural equipment to be loaned to farmers.

Source: Voice of Nigeria