By Isaac Olamikan
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured Edo residents that the state government’s policy on decentralising the healthcare system will enhance the efficiency, accessibility and quality healthcare service delivery in the state.
The governor said this after inspecting ongoing construction work at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital in Benin City, Edo State capital.
He said, “our strategy is to decentralise healthcare. We don’t need that central model. We don’t need a central hospital anymore. What we need are decentralised health clinics with Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the state, which will be the first point of contact for patients.
“It is only based on reference from these units that you now come to a specialist hospital. We intend to provide world-class services that will stop medical tourism and you can afford these services by keying into our health insurance policy.
“The designs for specialist hospitals across the three senatorial districts are already on as we look at other options, especially in Edo North. This project will be ready by the last quarter of 2022 as the facility will be open for the first set of patients when we are celebrating Alaghodaro this year,” he reassured.
Obaseki added that the project will be completed as stipulated, noting that his administration has not abandoned any project.
On her part, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria said a lot of work is ongoing at the project site, adding that another Out Patient Department (OPD) and the administrative block will be built in the facility.
She said the relocation of the Central Hospital to Stella Obasanjo Hospital is an integration, noting that most of the services in the old hospital have been moved to Edo Specialist Hospital.
“The Stella Obasanjo Hospital was a mother and child hospital before the outbreak of the COVID-19, but has been expanded to provide other services. We will be having additional services, including oncology, cardiology, nephrology, physiotherapy and rehabilitation therapy.
“We have identified the spots for all these services and it will run 24 hours. We are not phasing out the specialist hospital but upgrading the hospital,” the commissioner said.