By Ngozi Ekhator
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has flayed the high level of corruption in the healthcare system in the state, noting that his administration would insist on a new order and that doctors must render services to Edo people to justify their salaries.
The governor made the submission during a meeting with doctors drawn from the State Hospital Management Board, Edo Specialist Hospital, Edo Primary Healthcare Agency and the Ministry of Health, at Government House in Benin City.
Obaseki said his administration will vehemently resist the old order and chart a new course to improve the healthcare system in the state, noting that the meeting with the doctors was to discuss the way forward for the healthcare system in Edo State.
“We need to move forward as a state. This is why we introduced the Health Insurance Scheme. Edo Health Insurance Scheme doesn’t discriminate as you will get services anywhere you go in the state,” he noted.
Lamenting the level of corruption in the healthcare system, he said, “I have seen corruption like never before in the healthcare system. It is alarming and unacceptable. We have drawn the line and it will not be business as usual. It is left to you to either join us or take a bow honourably.”
He queried: “the modality of having just one doctor in Igarra, two in Auchi while more doctors are in Benin City, doing nothing. Patients in these areas visit private hospitals because they have lost fate in our system. On no account should any doctor refuse posting.
“For the past 10 months now, I have had the opportunity of studying 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.”
He continued, “We have come to the end of the road for the old order. We must chart a new course for a better and improved healthcare system in Edo State. We have introduced the Edo Health Insurance Scheme (EDOHIP).
“We have already started deducting Health premiums for civil servants since last month and we must give them good services.”
“Every doctor must now account for what they do, to justify their salaries. We must be up and doing. Some of you earn twice more than me, who is governor of the state. You have to provide a good healthcare system for Edo people. I want to ensure that by the time we leave the system, none would have cause to leave the state for treatment.
“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 said.
Obaseki frowned about the fact records and data of monthly patients attended to were not readily available at the hospitals, adding, “How can we, as the authority that is supposed to certify death and issue certificates, not have records that can easily be accessed?”
In his response, a Family Physician in Central Hospital, Benin, Dr. Maxwell Oronsaye, complained about the lack of personnel and resources to take proper statistics of mortalities in the hospital.
Obaseki also visited the Stella Obasanjo Hospital in company with the Chief Medical Director (CMD), University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Dr. Darlinton Obaseki and CMD Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Dr. Osagie Ebonwoyi.
During the inspection tour at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, the governor said he has given the state healthcare practitioners one week to organise themselves, noting, “We are investing in our hospital system, in our people and restarting the School of Midwifery and the School of Nursing.
The accreditation process is on-going. We are working to build manpower, infrastructure and to deliver quality service to our people.”
Cross-section of doctors drawn from the Edo State Hospital Management Board, Edo Specialist Hospital, Edo Primary Healthcare Agency and the Ministry of Health, during a meeting with Governor Godwin Obaseki at Government House in Benin City, on Sunday, February 7, 2021.