Edo state Governor, Godwin Obaseki says his administration is working hard to remodel primary healthcare centres in the state, to reduce the burden on tertiary health institutions which are supposed to concentrate on research and specialised services.
Obaseki stated this when he received the newly constituted board members of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) at Government House in Benin, the state capital.
“We want to roll out 20 primary healthcare centres to serve as models and we are also working on providing specialised healthcare services in the rebranded Central Hospital in Benin, to reduce Medical tourism. We are confident that because of our strategic location, if we revamp our healthcare systems, we can provide world-class medical services.’’
The governor also advocated the strengthening of all chains of the country’s healthcare delivery system, to reduce medical tourism aboard.
“Health care is beyond having hospitals but ensuring that all the chains (Primary -Secondary-Tertiary) in the healthcare systems function optimally. When one aspect of the health care chain is weak, it affects other parts which become over worked, and if the overworked chain cannot meet the nation’s medical need, it results to medical tourism aboard. For instance, if the illness was detected early at the primary healthcare level or we have the facilities at the hospitals, medical tourism will not be encouraged,” he said.
He urged UBTH to partner the state government in capacity building, saying that his administration was ready to support effective healthcare delivery in the state.
On the 21-day ultimatum issued by the Edo chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, the governor said his administration would not be able to meet their demands immediately.
“I cannot afford to pay 100 per cent salary increase now. We said we should spread it over four years but they said no,”Obaseki said.
Earlier, the Chairman of the UBTH board, Chief Adewola Adedoja, said the visit was to introduce the new board members and to pledge their support to the present administration in ensuring improved health service delivery in the state.
Adedoja commended the governor for his progressive style of leadership and urged the state government to support the hospital in areas of partnership and give more support to the Nigerian Medical Association.