Minna - The Niger Ministry of Health has ordered the closure of 20 private hospitals in the state for operating illegally and without following proper medical procedures.
Dr Usman Baba-Agaie, Director, Private Hospitals and Laboratories, stated this on Sunday in Minna in an interactive session with journalists.
He stated that the action was because the hospitals operated beyond their mandate as contained in their operating licenses.
He said that the hospitals were found to have contravened the guidelines set for their operations, adding that some of them conducted illegal abortions on pregnant women even when they did not have the equipment necessary for such operations.
Baba-Agaje said some of the hospitals illegally transfused blood on patients without proper equipment or trained personnel to conduct simple blood tests or screening before transfusion.
He said that some of the hospitals were discovered to have carried out illegal surgical operations outside their scope of license, and without the required medical personnel or suitable operating theatre.
He said that the ministry had no option than to seal such hospitals and withdrew their operating licenses in the interest and safety of the public, adding that the closure would be permanent.
"These hospitals were licensed to treat minor illnesses such as headaches, fever and vomiting among others, and they were expected to refer complicated cases to better equipped medical facilities.
"But some of them had chosen to operate outside their mandates,’’ he said.
Baba-Agaje said that the ministry had since informed the security agents about the activities of the managers of the hospitals to ensure that they did not reopen, while the operator could possibly face prosecution for their illegal acts.
He urged members of the public to report the activities of any hospital or staff that carried out illegal medical procedure or operation to the ministry for necessary investigation and action.