By Gbenga Sodeinde, Senior Correspondent, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi on Monday, flagged off comprehensive renovation and equipment of all the 18 general hospitals across the state with an assurance to build two new ones.
The rehabilitation of the general hospitals, which is billed to be completed within eight to 10 weeks will cost the government a whopping N955million.
Flagging off the commencement of the renovation work at the general hospitals in Iyin, Okemesi, Otun and Ijan Ekiti, Governor Fayemi said the renovation is aimed at providing a conducive physical environment for robust functional healthcare delivery.
The Governor who was hailed by the people of the communities during the flag off exercise said the rehabilitation project was a necessary investment in the health sector.
Governor Fayemi disclosed that the two new general hospitals would be built in Ilawe and Iye Ekiti in Ekiti South West and Ilemejemeje local government areas of the state, while the 320-bed Oba Adejugbe General Hospital in Ado Ekiti, would be completed to provide an alternative for the residents of the state capital following the upgrading of the general hospital in Ado to the University Teaching Hospital.
Governor Fayemi explained that the general hospitals play a crucial role in the healthcare delivery hierarchy as they serve as interface between primary healthcare facilities and the Tertiary.
He announced that every referral case in all the general hospitals from primary healthcare facilities would be treated free of charge.
According to Fayemi, “The general hospitals would also be a major conduit for the delivery of healthcare education to complement the efforts of our primary healthcare facilities. This is in line with our adoption of preventive healthcare strategies that are more cost effective and in the overall best interest of our people”.
While stating that his administration takes after the Chief Obafemi Awolowo administration in the then Western Region in the provision of free healthcare and healthcare infrastructure, the Governor stated that some of the 18 hospitals being renovated were built over 40 years ago by the General Adeyinka Adebayo-led military government.
“It is commonly said that health is wealth. This is why our administration has been paying careful attention to the strengthening of our healthcare delivery system with a view to making it more functional and relevant to the needs of our people particularly at the grassroots. Our exertions in the Health sector is informed by this administration’s progressive ideology that traces its lineage back to such great men as the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo”, Fayemi asserted.
Dr Fayemi who expressed concern that people’s failure to use medical facilities as a result of religious and cultural socio-cultural beliefs has led to the nation’s high maternal mortality and child morbidity, urged all stakeholders in the sector to sensitize people to seek medical services from Government-approved hospitals rather than quacks.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Olusola Fasubaa reiterated the commitment of the Fayemi administration to providing the hospitals with modern equipment to give better service delivery to the people.
Fasubaa highlighted some of the strides of the present administration in the sector to include the procurement of medical equipment worth N130 million; the construction of Adult Accident and Emergency unit at the state university teaching hospital; and other efforts aimed at reshaping the course of healthcare in the state health facilities.
Also speaking at the flag off ceremony in Okemesi Ekiti, the former chairman of the state Council of Traditional Rulers and Owa Ooye of Okemesi, Oba Gbadebo Adedeji, commended the Fayemi administration for the Operation Renovate all Hospitals (ORAH) project; saying that he had severally called on government to renovate the General Hospital at Okemesi which was in a state of dilapidation but has finally got a relief following the step taken by Fayemi to give the hospital a new look and new equipment.
The traditional ruler who expressed confidence that the present administration would take the state to another level of positive transformation affirmed that the Governor deserves a second term in order to complete his people-oriented programmes.
“Yes, people say monarchs shouldn’t be partisan but that does not mean that when you see something good, you shouldn’t talk. The kind of government that cares for the people is here and you claim not to see. If we see something good and we fail to campaign for it, then we are doomed”, Oba Adedeji said.
The traditional rulers, community leaders and market women trooped out in large numbers to welcome the Governor to their communities.