Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to commission the just completed navy reference hospital in Calabar, Cross River State in Southern Nigeria.
The Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Mathew Emuekpere disclosed this to journalists shortly after inspecting the hospital in Calabar city.
Rear Admiral Emuekpere, who engaged top navy medical officers to a closed door meeting, said “the commissioning will be done very soon and we are expecting Mr. President to commission this hospital for the benefit of all Nigerians and others alike”.
Emuekpere stated that the hospital has been equipped to cater to the medical needs of all classes of people, who require different health services.
He said “the services that would be rendered at the hospital cuts across all medical fields, from dental to ophthalmic, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, radiology and all medical fields”.
“I believe that by the time this hospital kicks off fully, Nigerians embarking on medical tourism abroad will be reduced to the barest minimum. This facility will also tackle the issue of brain drain experienced in the medical fields. This will create jobs for qualified health practitioners”, Emuekpere said.
Rear Admiral Emuekpere has assured the people of affordable healthcare, urging “I am urging all Nigerians to make use of the facilities we have here. I promise that the services, which will be rendered here, will be the cheapest so far”.
He further appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience with the as the navy awaits President Muhammadu Buhari to launch the facility.
The foundation for the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital was laid sometime in 1975 and was left unattended to by past administrations until 2007 when the work resumed.
A veteran journalist, Mr. Frank Inyang explained “the navy reference hospital was started in 1975 and for 33 years, no more work was done there. It was not until the former Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke drew the attention of the former Minister of State Defence, Navy, Mrs. Olushola Obada to the facility did the Nigerian Navy took up the challenge to complete the edifice”.
“The architect, Sir Maurice Archibong, who is now in his eighties I believe, will be happy that one of his designs has materialized and would serve to benefit millions of people once commissioned. We are glad that the navy has completed the hospital”, added Inyang.