The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has hinged the failure of the country’s healthcare system on bad leadership, assuring that his government will sustain investment in the healthcare sector, ensuring quality, efficient and affordable health services to Edo people.
Obaseki gave the assurance when he received the progress report on Edo State College of Nursing Science at the Government House, in Benin City.
The governor, who recommitted to consolidating on the gains made on strengthening system-wide reforms in the state’s healthcare ecosystem, stated, “This marks the beginning of a new era in our healthcare services in Edo State as healthcare is now a major issue globally.”
Describing the outbreak of COVID-19 as an eye-opener for actors in the healthcare sector, Obaseki said his administration is determined to upgrade healthcare delivery in Edo State to international standards.
He noted, “COVID-19 has changed the way we live across the globe, and so, we need to fix our healthcare system.”
The governor said before Nigeria’s independence, the state had one of the first and finest nursing schools that produced some of the best nurses for Africa.
Obaseki added, “In the intervening period, there was a failure of political leadership. It came to the core of the fight for the soul of Edo State. The people fighting us today brought us to where we are and want us to remain there, but we declare that it will be a fight to the finish.
“In the past, political leaders didn’t care about the people but themselves. Our politics brought us here. This led to the failure of most of our institutions and the fight is either to continue the old order or stand with the new order. I am committed to standing with the people to transform the state.
He further noted, “This project shows what Edo can be or would be. This project is the first step in a total revamp and rethinking of the healthcare system. Healthcare in Edo has been decentralized and we cannot and would not have a central healthcare system again.
“From a policy standpoint, we would not have central hospital again in Edo but a decentralized hospital system built up from primary centres at the base, with specialized healthcare facilities to take care of patients referred from the primary healthcare centres.”
“Just like we positioned this nursing school, we will position the healthcare system in the state and make it the medical hub of this country. Sustainability is the biggest challenge facing us. It can’t be sustained using the old political order as it would not work. The wrong people must not be allowed to operate the system or get power as they will reverse all we have done.”
Earlier, Dr. Egbe Osifo-Dawodu, who led the delegation to present the progress report, said the state had delivered a quality nursing school that will meet international standards, noting that the school has the facilities to compete with any world-class institution in the world.