Friday 23rd June, 2017
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Rivers healthcare reform designed to benefit the vulnerable - Health Commissioner

Rivers healthcare reform designed to benefit the vulnerable - Health Commissioner

Healthcare reform has become a constant in every administration. It is self-evidently necessary and inevitable as it has always been on the agenda of suc­cessive government of which most times they seem com­pletely unable to respond to it.
But the present adminis­tration in Rivers State led by Governor Nyesom Wike has envisioned a sustainable im­plementation of a redesigned process of quality healthcare delivery which has restored hope in the healthcare system as citizens can now access cheap and affordable Medi­care.
The Government has adopted a system of health­care delivery whose thrust is anchored on Primary Health Care services, provision of quality and standard health facilities, affordable health services, with the availability of well-qualified and motivat­ed staff at all the health facili­ties in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Theophilous Odagme, in nterview with The Authority, in his office in Port Harcourt, explained that the present administration in the state take serious the provision of health services to ensure proper service in­tegration at all levels of health care establishments and to de­velop and implement policies and programmes to improve and maintain health quality services that is capable of pro­viding effective, efficient and affordable healthcare delivery to vulnerable groups at gov­ernment cost
The overall target in the health sector is to ensure proper service integration at all levels of health care es­tablishments and to develop and implement policies and programmes to improve and maintain health quality ser­vices that is capable of pro­viding effective, efficient and affordable healthcare delivery.
The state government has put in place defined factors that are essentials for the ef­fective implementation of it comprehensive healthcare policy Dr Odagme while re­affirming the interest of the state government in health­care said the state govern­ment has embarked on the rehabilitation of 16 General Hospitals in the State, as a move to reduce the mortal­ity rate of the people and also reduce the burden on BMSH as it will serve only as referral centres.
He listed some of hospitals under rehabilitation to in­clude the General Hospitals at Nchia, Okirika, Abonnema, Buguma, Isiokpo, Emohua, Bodo, Terabo, Abua, Okuzi, Taaban, Ngo, Opobo, Neu­ropsychiatric Hospital Ru­muigbo, Cottage Hospital Ebere and the total rebuilding of Omoku General Hospital.
Apart from the rehabilita­tions of the hospitals, the Commissioner disclosed that the government is solely be­hind the passage of the Health Insurance Bill into law, noting that for the past one year more attention have been given to the health sector for the well being of Rivers people.
According to the commis­sioner, “Am sure you are aware that the General hospitals were completely dilapidated in the state but right now, 13 of them are been renovated and are at different levels of renovation round the state.
He said, “We are working on the health insurance bill in the state. In BMSH, we have handed over the reconstruc­tion of the burnt quarters on Tuesday and various other activities going are going on..
“We have proposals in 2017 the budget that will all be car­ried on to ensure that health care delivery in Rivers State get a new look and that our people in the state feels and enjoy health care delivery.” He said.
The said both the Cottage and General Hospitals in the State have been in the state of disrepair, “but in the month of November last year, funds were released for commence­ment of renovation work, fol­lowing which the hospitals will be fully equipped”
According to him after the renovation, the hospitals will be re-equipped and upgraded. “These are products of several years of neglect and govern­ment is doing what should be done in putting those places back, equipping them and where there is need for extra manpower across the health sector that will be done.”
But beyond the general hospitals, he said there are a number of health centres that have completed and that within available resources the health centres will be equipped with additional manpower.
“Two months ago, there is a block in BMSH we call ‘the surgical block’. That was an abandoned project for years, it has been completed. its a story building with 91 bed­ded wards and as soon as the equipments arrive, it will be put into use.” He said.
According to Dr Odagme the state government is in partnership with other inter­national Health Institutions to ensuring there is good health care delivery in the state.
“If you go to the lab, we have the Polymeric Exchange Reaction machine that helps in making definite diagno­sis for HIV cases, especially in new born. Before now we used to send samples outside the state. It was installed last year, working with the Fam­ily Health International (FHI) 360, a partner working with the state ministry of health in tackling HIV/AIDS.”
He said the BMSH antena­tal ward was also reconstruct­ed by the present administra­tion in the last year.
Currently the state govern­ment is doing stakeholder en­gagement in the Health Insur­ance Bill and look forward to see it passed into law.
The idea is to ensure that every stakeholder in the state buy into the health insurance policy which enable see ex­perience a functional health insurance scheme including those living in the rural areas.
On the issues of the recent strike action embarked upon by Resident Doctor in the state, the commissioner Gov­ernment is still deliberating on the issue presented by the doctors, which bothers on consolidation of medical sal­ary structure, house officers salary and residency training.
Narrating the incident that led to the strike the commis­sioner said the a group of doctors who work with the State government under the umbrella of the National As­sociation of General Medi­cal and Dental Practitioners, sent a letter to His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, giving a 21 day ultimatum on various issues.
He assured that the State Government is already relat­ing with the relevant leader­ship in the association with the hope of finding a lasting solution to their problems.

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