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2011 Hajj:Health Committee to Provide Medical Experts, says Hon. Elumelu



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The chairman House Committee on Health Hon. Godwin Ndudi Elumelu today   October 14, 2011 promise to ensure that the intending Hajj pilgrims will be adequately provided with medical experts to take care of their health matters while in the Holy Land of Mecca, he made this call while receiving the executive members of the National Hajj Commission led by its Chairman Alhaji Mohammed Bello, in a closed door meeting organized by the Committee on Health.
Hon.  Elumelu stated that the meeting was necessary in order to deliberate on the preparation of the Commission for the pending Hajj operations. He affirmed that petitions have been received that proper provisions have not been made for the medical needs of intending pilgrims.  ‘The House Committee under my leadership will ensure that intending Hajj member are properly taking care of’ 
The Committee in their resolution, urge the Hajj Commission not to keep any patient for more than 12 hours, the patient must be referred to Saudi Arabia hospitals for post primary care.
‘The health of the citizens is the primary concern of this Committee, he added’ 
The Committee also resolves that the issue of accommodation   for the medical team in Saudi Arabia has been a major challenge to the Commission, due to the privatization policy of the Federal Government, that the Commission should provide accommodation for some members of the medical team above their allowances to make them comfortable.
Elumelu however stress that it is extremely difficult to pay each member of the medical team their allowances prior to departure from Nigeria or upon arrival in Saudi Arabia because of the notorious Nigeria factor, that The Commission should pay medical allowance on installmental basis so as to monitor their performance and ensure that they mark Attendance Register daily in their respective units to show they are on their respective duty post attending to pilgrims.
Alhaji Bello in his response applauded the initiative of the House chairman emphasizing   that this was the first time in the history of the House Committee on Health to invite the Hajj Commission to ensure provision of proper medical assistance for intending pilgrims, adding that That the Commission has a dress code for all the medical team and over the years, experience has shown that the pilgrims are familiar with this dress code and could identifies the medical team and call on them for help.
 Mohammed Bello expressed his gratitude to the House Committee for the invitation. Adding that prior to the invitation of the Committee, the Hajj Commission has also been relating with House Committee on Foreign Affairs on its activities. He informed the Committee that 99,000 (ninety nine thousand) people would be proceeding on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia this year, and 280 (two hundred and eighty) medical personnel have been engaged to attend to the medical needs of these pilgrims.
 Bello gave the breakdown of the medical personnel as follows: 80 Medical Doctors, 150 Nurses, 20 Pharmacists and 30 Community Health workers.
He explained that the Commission would be responsible for Payments of the flight tickets of the medical team, and   the personnel’s   would be entitled to daily allowances of $200 (Doctors), $175 (Pharmacists) and $150 (Nurses and Environmental Health workers).
On the issue of security, the commissioner briefs the Committee that the Commission has developed a Medical Card to capture the medical details of each pilgrim, furthermore that each pilgrim would be given a computerized number and a Barcode containing the medical history of each pilgrim for tracking purposes whenever the pilgrim needs medical attention. He apologized to the Committee for inability to make any written presentation due to time constraint.
Hon. Elumelu in his closing remark charges the commission to imbibe the spirit of transformational agenda which is the yard stick of this dispensation. 
Adamu Paul. 

Writes from National Assembly Abuja

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