Fubara vows to make Rivers hob for medical tourism

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By Philip Ezuma, Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has vowed to make the state first choice medical tourism destination in Nigeria, and indeed, Africa.

The Governor explained that to achieve, his Government was seriously paying greater attention to improving healthcare infrastructure and services available to the people, particularly at the primary level to bridge observed gaps between the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare services in the State.

Governor Fubara emphasised that the ongoing reconstruction, rehabilitation and upgrade of all primary healthcare facilities across the State, with a view to integrating them with existing secondary and tertiary institutions, was intended to deliver immediate but quality healthcare services to majority of the people.

The Governor made this known while speaking to newsmen in Government House, Port Harcourt on the modest achievements of his administration in the health sector since assumption of office.

He stated that, besides the construction, renovation and upgrade of primary healthcare centres across the State, the capacity of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) has been improved with the training of personnel, and establishment of critical units, equipped with modern equipment to deliver sterling expertise services to patients.

Governor Fubara said: “We are proud of our modest achievements in the health sector, particularly in the construction of primary healthcare centres.”

“We are also supporting the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital to perform optimally. Do not also forget the contributory healthcare insurance law that we have started implementing.

“I assure you that we will complete all the ongoing healthcare infrastructure projects that we have around the state”, he said.

Governor Fubara also identified some challenges that have frustrated smooth delivery of healthcare services in the State, and promised to tackle them.

“With all these on ground, it is evident that the primary challenges in our healthcare system are more with inadequate manpower, corruption, indiscipline and ineffective management.

“We will deal with all identified challenges and ensure that the healthcare system functions optimally to deliver affordable and efficient services to all citizens of the State,” he added.

Also speaking, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr Adaeze Oreh, said that under the leadership of Governor Fubara, the State has experienced formidable strides in building a rigorous and robust primary healthcare system.

Dr Oreh noted that the current emphasis was on renovating and upgrading already existing primary healthcare facilities in order to enhance their functionality so that Rivers people can have access to affordable and accessible primary healthcare services in the State.

She also said: “Another update to note is His Excellency’s approval of the implementation of the Rivers State Contributory Health Protection Programme which is the State’s health insurance scheme.

“His Excellency has approved the implementation, making Rivers State the latest State to come on board on the implementation of Health Insurance Scheme across the country.

“The law was passed in 2021 but unfortunately, we did not have the implementation of this State’s Health Insurance Scheme. But His Excellency has graciously approved and with the announcement of the appointment of an Acting Executive Secretary in the person of Dr Vetty Agala, the team has hit the ground running and the office is in place”, he stated.