By Gift Chapi Odekina
A member of the House of Representatives Rep. Ben Igbakpa representing Ethiope East/Ethiope West Federal constituency (Delta) has made a strong case for the establishment of a Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Oghara town.
This was just as the feelers gleaned from the presentation of the Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ohanire at the public hearing organized by the House Committee on Health institutions suggest that the Ministry of Health might not be in tandem with the Chief Sponsor of the Bill, Hon Ben Igbakpa on support for the Bill.
Igbakpa who told stakeholders at a public hearing on the establishment of the tertiary Health institution that the Medical Centre will it bring health care nearer to the large population of the constituency and its environs, said the Centre will save them the cost and aggravation of travelling for over five hours to access the nearest tertiary Health institution in Asaba, the state capital.
The Delta Lawmaker had noted that with the ever increasing population figure of Oghara and it’s environs, occasioned by the citing of military and educational institutions there is a need for the establishment of a federal medical centre in the area.
The lawmaker said given the penchant of the people in the area not to approach hospitals untill their health situation deteriorates, many lives were being lost by transporting sick patients for hours over typical bad roads in the country for hours before receiving medical attention.
He gave an assurance of the constituency’s readiness to contribute it’s quota to the successful establishment of a FMC in Oghara.
Health Minister Dr. Osagie Ehanire’s Presentation to the Hearing was presented to Committee of Health’s secretariats on the morning of the Hearing by a director from the ministry who represented the minister on the ocassion.
When called upon to speak to the Minister’s presentation, his representative said in a diplomatic language that the ministry was all out to bring healthcare facilities nearest to the people in line with the WHO charter and would support efforts along such lines.
Committee chairman Hon. Chigozie Obi who must have perused the Minister’s presentation to the Public Hearing pointed out the contradiction in the contents of the Minister’s presentation and the short one by his representative.
Hon Obi pointed out that nowhere in the two presentations was the position of the ministry made clear on whether or not the ministry is in support of the Bill for the establishment of a FMC in Oghara.
He noted that rather, the Minister’s presentation to the committee was froth with government policies of not providing two FMCs in any one State, considering the fact that one is already in Asaba and that any state where a federal teaching hospital already existed might not be entitled to a FMC.
In adjourning the Committee’s sitting to a later date, Hon. Obi gave an assurance that views so collated at the hearing will be anajysed and aggregated into a report to be considered by the full House in session.