The Chairman of the Edo State Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) David Imuse, a retired army colonel, on Wednesday commended the state governor, Godwin Obaseki for owning up to the collapse of the healthcare sector in the state, as well as admitting the corruption in the system which he described as “alarming and unacceptable”.
The governor, while inspecting facilities at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital in Benin City last week, had lamented the level of corruption in the state’s healthcare system, saying “I have seen corruption like never before in the healthcare system. It is alarming and unacceptable. We have drawn the line and it will not be business as usual. It is left to you to either join us or take a bow honourably”.
Obaseki decried a situation of “having just one doctor in Igarra, two in Auchi, while more doctors are in Benin City doing nothing” and lamented that “Patients in these areas visit private hospitals because they have lost fate in our system”. He warned that on no account should any doctor refuse posting.
“For the past 10 months now, I have had the opportunity of studying the healthcare system in the state. It is so clear that the system has collapsed. I have information to this effect. We have no choice but to move forward and collectively, we must improve the system and make the people trust the system again”.
But in a statement by the state assistant publicity secretary of the APC, Ofure Osehobo, Imuse posited that the epithet, ‘wake and see’ fits the Governor because whereas he had been on the saddle in the last four years, he was just realising that a vital sector that deals with the health and well-being of Edo people had collapsed.
The APC chieftain noted that the healthcare providers in the state had in the past, complained and pleaded with the governor to employ more personnel only for him to politicise their demands and only in December last year replied them by saying: “We are restructuring the healthcare system and getting people to know that healthcare is not equal to hospitals but a system”.
Imuse wondered what had changed since December 2020 as the Governor also said, “We have the advantage of hosting over 2,000 doctors in Edo with many practicing in federal and state institutions, and others in private practice. We will create a system where all of them will be put together and utilised notwithstanding where they practice”.
The APC chairman said it was incongruous that it was only in the past 10 months that the Governor found the time and the opportunity of studying the healthcare system in the state, with his research efforts yielding such a renown conclusion that the system had collapsed.
He said what this meant was that the governor had matters more important than the health and welfare of Edo people bordering him.
According to Imuse, the Governor ought to realise that the few remaining doctors he met were not in the least surprised to hear him emphasise that under his watch, healthcare centres in Edo local government areas, like Akoko Edo, Etsako West, on the average , boasts of one and half doctors!
The party chairman then urged Governor Obaseki to stop procrastinating but rather deploy its new-found capacity for discovering commonplace problems, and proposing solutions in 30 years time, to
immediately address the health and welfare challenges facing Edo people.
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