Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara state has lamented that not fewer than 170 medical professionals left the state civil service in the last three months for greener pastures.
Speaking at the commissioning of a N350million ultra modern medical centre situated in the General Hospital, Offa town, Offa local government area of Kwara state, constructed by a indigenous association, the Offa Metropolitan Club (OMC) on Saturday, the governor said that state government cannot manage healthcare alone.
“Over the last three months, we have lost 170 doctors in the state service. That is one of the challenges you have; getting qualified doctors and pay them right. The rate we are losing doctors and midwives is haemorrhaging. Most of those medical doctors that are still behind is mostly for family ties.
The issue of patriotism has gone off the wind. It’s not just Kwara losing doctors. So many states are losing doctors. For us in Kwara, we are losing to the federal institutions, teaching hospitals, while others are losing to Lagos, Abuja and Lagos is losing to UK, America, Europe and so on. It’s a huge brain drain. That is one of the key major challenges that you have. Two major challenges here; one, the personnel, two, the equipment”, he said.
The governor, who was visibly excited over the project by the community, said that the state government would support the initiative for benefits of the people.
He also said that the project would put pressure on the government facility sort of, saying that, “As government, we cannot come in and see institution like this and see our own dilapidated. It puts pressure on us to also make sure we do well on the government side”, he said.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the President on Finance and Economy, Sarah Alade, who is also the president of the OMC, called for community-based collaborations as part of measures to tackle prevailing challenges in the nation’s health sector.
Alade said that COVID-19 pandemic, the mass emigration of health care workers and the current fiscal realities on ground would definitely limit speedy transformation in medical field in the near future.
Sarah Alade, who was former acting governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said that the cumulative effect of the situations had showed that the government cannot do it alone, adding that the development led the club to conceive the idea of building a medical facility to complement efforts of the government in the health sector.
Alade, who said that the medical facility is in fulfillment of group’s pledge to boost quality health services in Offa community and its environs, added that the facility would be equipped with specialized medical screening and diagnostic facilities.
The OMC President also said that the club had initiated a health trust fund to make the facility accessible to all class of indigenes, just as she solicited for support from well to do individuals to key into it through the government health insurance scheme.
Chairman BOT of the club, Dr. Funsho Oladipo, who was represented by Dr. Layi Bello, said that the hospital project was founded on the need to provide high-quality medical services to the people of Offa and its surroundings.
“I believe that this project will serve as a template that will be replicated across Kwara state, which will not only provide health care services to the people of the communities but also create jobs. At the inception of this project, the OMC Medical Center planning committee members had a vision to build a one-of-a-kind medical centre with state-of-the-art equipment to ensure that the people of Offa and its environs benefit immeasurably. We involved a vast number of experts to ensure we delivered nothing but the best to our people and the result is what we see before us today, this centre has been designed to provide comprehensive quality medical services as a complement to the services already being provided by the Offa General Hospital.
“Following today’s commissioning, the centre will begin providing top-class diagnostic services such as hematology, chemical pathology, microbiology, and histopathology. The services delivered within the centre will be expanded to provide diagnostic imaging, beginning with digital X-ray and progressing to CT scan and finally MRI. This is to ensure that, in addition to the assistance these services will provide to the people of Offa and its surrounds, we will increase the
availability of advanced imaging in Kwara state.
“The centre will also provide clinical services, beginning with primary and secondary care and soon progressing to a tertiary level centre to cater for varying healthcare needs of the community and its adjacent towns and cities.The centre will include a pharmacy that will serve patients from both inside and outside of our community.
The OMC’s efforts to establish this Medical Center align with those of the Kwara state Ministry of Health, which has underlined the importance of increasing the well-being of the people of Kwara state by assuring access to quality health care services and deepening Universal Health Care (UHC).
“We are totally committed to supporting the government’s efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality rates, providing urgent care services for emergencies and elimination of Malaria and other diseases, which we hope wIll be achieved
following the commissioning of this project.
“As a member of the OMC Medical Center Planning Committee, I am immensely proud and honoured that as a team, we have demonstrated that when determination and the desire to succeed are there, anything is possible. And, by the help of God
we shall continue to do more for the benefit of the people of Offa and it surroundings”.