The Governor who decried the incessant strikes by medical personnel in the country said “even blue collar workers don’t resort to strikes as frequently as our medical doctors do.”
Speaking at the inauguration of the Hospitals Management Board; Land Use and Allocation Committee; Traditional Medicine Board and Edo Arts Council, yesterday (Monday), Oshiomhole said “to get the best from the health sector, I am convinced that we need to completely overhaul the system. We need a healthcare system that operates on the best world practices. This means that it cannot be business as usual because the system has not been working.
“As at today, many of our doctors are putting in few hours into government work and the remaining hours on their personal work. It hurts me that people that the world is focusing on, especially in this period when people talk about Ebola Virus which has no cure yet are on strike. Though in Edo State, it is not here and will not be here, all of us must pray that it does not get to our boundary.
“Nigeria must live beyond where the medical doctors walk out of their jobs and their patients are left dying. Even blue collar workers don’t resort to strikes as frequently as our medical doctors do. I do not think that we can continue in that way.
“We can play with everything, but we shouldn’t play with human lives. The most important
resource of any government is the people, because without life if we construct roads, who will drive on them, if we build schools with fine roofs who is going to attend the schools?
“So the fundamental thing is life. However, because people can leave work for as long as they want with the slightest provocation if there is any, and then return to collect accumulated salaries with taxes collected from patients who are dying, then the problem will continue. I am a worker, I’ve been a Union leader, I have organized strikes but I understand the difference between essential services, life-saving sector vis-à-vis other sectors.
“So we need a robust debate on how to reposition the health sector and it will be your lot to ensure that those who receive money from government in the name of service put in commensurate work. A situation in which somebody who is supposed to be at the Central Hospital or at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital or at the Auchi General Hospital or other General Hospitals is diverting patients to private clinics will certainly be unacceptable.”
“As we speak, the construction work at the Central Hospital Complex is ongoing and I’m sure that the first part of the hospital which is called the Emergency/Management Control Centre will be ready within the next few months. Once that hospital is completed, we will put in the latest state-of-the-art medical equipment and obviously we will have to seriously engage management on how to ensure that the investment translates to effective asset to every Edo man and woman that needs medical care.”
In their various responses the Chairmen thanked the Governor for the honor done them and promised to justify the confidence reposed in them.
They pledged to leave their boards better than they met it and pleadged their loyalty to government.
The Traditional Medicine Board has Prof. Thomas Omon-Oleabhile as Chairman; Hospital Management Board is headed by Dr. Ebegue Amadasun; Land Use Allocation Committee is headed by Mr. Simon Omofuma while Edo Arts Council Board is headed by Mr. Lawrence Oboh.