Governor Alex Otti of Abia has reaffirmed his commitment to enhance the people’s health through conscious and deliberate improvement of access to quality and affordable healthcare in the state.
Otti made the remark in Umuahia, when he formally reopened the renovated and rehabilitated Abia State General Hospital, Amachara, near Umuahia.
He expressed the readiness of his administration to fully restore the state-owned primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare institutions in the state to function optimally.
The governor said that his commitment was informed by the need to ensure that the citizenry had access to quality healthcare in their various communities in a way that nobody would have to travel outside Abia for medical concerns.
He said that the government was focused on reducing the burden of diseases in the state “through the provision of resources for the implementation of appropriate strategies and multi-disciplinary intervention to improve population health”.
Otti described the rehabilitation of the hospital as a strategic move by the government to restore the confidence of the people in public health institutions.
He said, “the achievement of improved healthcare delivery in Abia is significant to the overall development agenda of this administration, which is primarily aimed at improving the welfare of the people.”
According to him, a healthy population remains the prime asset of any government.
He promised that “under my watch, the health of the citizens will come first and be considered a higher priority”.
Otti said that the government had instituted a mechanism that would ensure that an effective maintenance culture got enthroned in the health sector, especially in the management of health facilities.
He also said that plans were underway to set up a holistic mechanism for sanitising drug distribution in the state.
He said that the government would prioritise the welfare of health personnel by ensuring that their salaries and legitimate entitlements would be paid as and when due, and called for improved customer-relationship between health workers and patients.
He said that the government and the leadership of health unions had engaged in discussions on how to come up with better incentives for hardworking health workers.
Otti urged various communities in the state to take ownership of any government facilities in their locality to prevent vandalism.
He warned that anyone caught vandalising government property would be made to feel the full weight of the law.
In an address, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo, said that the rehabilitation of the hospital was an indication that the reforms in the health sector would produce a better healthcare system in Abia.
Earlier, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Francis Agu, commended the government for the massive reforms that had so far been executed in the health sector.
Agu said that the reforms had yielded a significant improvement in the delivery of healthcare services in the state.
He said, “The people of Abia deserve to receive prompt and efficient healthcare services and I make affirmation of the commitment to the realisation of this goal.”