From Ameachi Prosper (The New Diplomat’s Delta Correspondent)
Givernor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has lamented the level of corruption in the state’s healthcare system, describing it as a deliberate act to run down the system.
Obaseki, who revealed this at a meeting with health practitioners in the state in Benin City, the state capital, said “The level of corruption in the healthcare system in the state is alarming and unacceptable. We have drawn the line; it will no longer be business as usual. It’s left to you to either join us or take a bow honourably.”
Obaseki queried the modality for having just one doctor in Igarra, the headquarters of Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the state, and two in Auchi, while there were more doctors in Benin, doing nothing.
He said, “Patients in these areas visit private hospitals, because they have lost faith in our system; on no account should any doctor refuse posting. For the past 10 months now, I have had opportunity of discussing 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.
“We have come to the end of the road of the old order, and now we must chart a new course for a better and improved healthcare system in Edo state,” he said.
The governor added that the need to move the state forward led to the introduction of the Edo Health Insurance Scheme (EDOHIS).
“Every doctor must now account for what they do to justify their salaries; we must be up and doing as some of you earn twice more than me, who is the governor of the state.
“You have to provide good healthcare system for Edo people; we must improve our healthcare system. I will put my life on the line for Edo people, their health is important to me and worth dying for; they voted me into power,” he stressed.
The governor also decried the situation where records and data of monthly patients attended to was not readily available saying, “We, as the authority that is supposed to certify death and issue certificate, do not have records that can easily be accessed.”
The governor later, visited the Stella Obasanjo Hospital to ascertain the level of facilities on ground, after which he warned that the health personnel had one week to organise themselves and come up with lasting solutions to the problems of the state healthcare system.
“I give them one week to organise themselves, to understand the things we need to do; policies, procedures, system and structure we need to put in place to achieve the level of efficiency that we need.
“We are making investments in our hospital system; in our people and restarting our school of midwifery and that of nursing,” the governor said.