The Governor of Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike has asked the Federal Government to prioritize the strengthening of public health institutions because many Nigerians cannot afford to travel overseas for medical treatment and they do not deserve to die for that.
According to The Guardian Nigeria, Governor Wike stated that any Government that recognizes how important the role of public health is to nation building and centralizes it will ensure that all citizens, especially the poor and vulnerable, have equal access to basic healthcare.
The Governor made this statement after he inspected the ongoing construction work at the multibillion naira, Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Diagnostic and Treatment Centre; the Basic Clinical Sciences and Clinical Sciences, the Renal and Pathology Departments for the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital in Port Harcourt.
Kelvin Ebiri, the Governor’s Special Assistant on Media, explained that the aim of the State Government’s huge investment in the tertiary hospital and public health infrastructure is to make the State the destination for medical tourism in the country.
Governor Wike further stated that we have what it takes to improve our Helen sector and provide all the necessary facilities. According to him, all we needed to do was train and retrain the doctors.
“If you give our people the required environment and facilities, the tools to work, there is no need for us traveling overseas. When people come to Government House Clinic, they look at the facilities and say they are like those abroad. So, we can replicate it here in Nigeria.” He explained.
He stated that the Government should prioritize providing incentives and creating an enabling environment so that doctors and other medical experts will be able to work efficiently.
Commenting on the quality of work at the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease Diagnostic and Treatment Centre, the Governor described it as very satisfactory. He also stated that the contractor for the project, Julius Berger, was working hard to meet the deadline for completing the project which is May 2022.
“ We have spent so much money in the health sector and we believe that our people at the end of the day will appreciate what we have been able to commit to health. For us, giving Rivers people the best has always been our priority. All I pray is that the contractors should meet up on time.” He stated.