APC governorship candidate in the forthcoming governorship poll in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has assured physicians in the State of his commitment to repositioning the state’s healthcare system using his manifesto, the Simple Agenda when he assumes office as Governor.
Speaking during an interactive session with Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Benin City, he said the security aspect of his Simple Agenda covers how the APC government he will head as Governor will ensure the safety and security of all health personnel and facilities in the state.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu added that his social welfare policy will prioritize healthcare for all citizens, particularly for women during their antenatal and infants by providing free medical services to them.
Delving into the Infrastructural development and urban renewal, he disclosed his plans to “massively transform our medical facilities across the state by making them not only functional, but attractive, so that doctors and nurses and even patients can have a conducive environment all to together”.
On manpower development and training, Pastor Ize-Iyamu said his government would place greater emphasis on the training and retraining of medical doctors and nurses, “to achieve maximum performance”, by utilizing the opportunity provided by the University of Benin teaching hospital in the state capital.
He said, “Government can’t do it all, so we intend to partner with medical practitioners in the area of Public Private Partnership in the Simple Agenda”, and, “with private individuals in the supply of medical equipment to equip our hospitals. We will also collaborate with private hospitals and work out ways we can co-operate. For example, Government needs to partner with UBTH, which has enormous medical clout, though it is a federal hospital. Not only UBTH, what type of support has the state government given to Irrua Teaching Hospital?”.
On the Simple Agenda’s mandate of leadership by example, the frontline APC candidate, added that “We intend to also ensure transparency and accountability in government, respect the rule of law and equally be interested in the funding of our hospitals as the current state of our hospitals are unacceptable”.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu was of the view that, “In a place like Central Hospital for example, you will be shocked to hear that the Internally generated revenue on a monthly basis is close to N40million but what Government gives them is N4million, which is barely 10% of what they generate: this isn’t reasonable at all. Therefore, Government must have a deliberate policy to ensure that funds are available, at least a reasonable amount for them to run effectively.”
Continuing, he explained that the Simple Agenda’s policy on Employment and Social Empowerment means that more doctors must be engaged while the State School of nursing, which has been under lock and key for more than three years by outgoing Governor Obaseki, will be reopened within his first three months in office.
He said with such a school, Edo cannot be looking for nurses outside the state to work in its hospitals adding that he also intends to engage more Specialist doctors and nurses, especially for the healthcare centres in the local governments.
Asked how he intends to improve manpower in the health sector, Pastor Ize-Iyamu said with most hospitals facing huge shortage of medical personnel, ” we will conduct an all-encompassing audit, analyse the needs and take stock of our Healthcare facilities across the state, identify the challenges, and overhaul the system.”
Furthermore, he said, ” I understand there are some hospitals already built but yet to be opened, for example in Otuo, Owan East LGA, this means that doctors and nurses will be needed to reopen and operate the hospitals.”
Meanwhile, Pastor Ize-Iyamu has said that a healthier and better Edo is possible, if only the people can vote in his party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, in the September 19, 2020 election as change will start manifesting from November 12, 2020.