Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Wednesday urged government at all levels to pay serious attention to the health care system in Nigeria to enhance the wellbeing of the people and improve the economy.
Wike gave the advise when the delegation of the accreditation team of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), visiting the Rivers State University College of Medical Sciences, paid him a visit in Port Harcourt.
He explained that the health care system in Nigeria requires very serious attention because the huge amount of foreign exchange expended by Nigerians on medical tourism overseas is shocking.
“I urged government at all levels to prioritise investment in the health sector.
“You can imagine if I travel now for medical check. Do you know the money it will cost? Do you know how much it will cost poor tax payers? So it is very important that we should give attention to our medical facilities,” he said.
Wike blamed the nonchalant attitude of administrators of government-owned hospitals for the decay these institutions have experienced over the years.
He described as morally outrageous a situation whereby administrators of government-owned hospitals allow the facilities to die, while their own private hospitals flourish.
“Why do you people kill Government Hospitals because it is not your own, you go to your clinic it is doing well but the Government Hospital is down,” he stated.
The Governor urged the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to resist playing politics with approved quota for Medical and Dental Schools in Nigeria, particularly the Rivers State University College of Medical Sciences.
He maintained that huge investment had been made based on the facilities on ground at the Rivers State University College of Medical Sciences to ensure that the approval quota for the institution will not be less than 150.
Wike stated that the deliberate investment in the State College of Medical Sciences is geared towards making it the best in the country.
Furthermore, He explained that the State government will sign a contract for construction of a world class Cancer and Cardiovascular diseases centre with Julius Berger which will be completed within 14 months to boost the internal revenue of the state.
In his speech, Dr. Tajudeen Sanusi, the Registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, lauded Gov. Wike for the construction of the Basic Clinical Sciences and Clinical Sciences building at the Rivers State University College of Medical Sciences.
Sanusi said that the MDCN will consider Gov. Wike’s request that the approved quota for Rivers State University College of Medical Sciences should not be less than 150.
Similarly, retired Justice Iche Ndu, the Pro-Chancellor of the Rivers State University, said the accreditation of medical programmes at the State College of Medical Sciences had been of great importance to the State government.
He lauded Gov. Wike for fulfilling his promise to provide funds for the provision of basic facilities at the College and converting the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital to the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital.