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We Are Set To Close Unregistered Hospitals Says Amaechi

The Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s speech on this year annual general meeting and scientific conference organized by the state branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) from October 6-7, 2011, may split the association apart as some members of the association from the private practitioners angle took offence and walked out of the hall while he was speaking and made statements not to unity the people as one.

In his opening remarks, the governor who was represented by the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Sampson Parker, said, the vision of the governor is that of quality health care services.

Governor Amaechi stated at the occasion that there will be free medical services for all residents ofRiversState. However, all must register and pay tax as part of measures to benefit for the scheme.

He stated that Primary Health must have complete data of all sickness and diseases in the state.

 On the year of retirement of doctors in the state, the governor’s representative said the governor has approved the age of 65 as the authentic year for doctor’s retirement.

He lamented the shortage of nurses and laboratory technicians in the government hospitals and promised to train and retrain staff to improve quality of health care delivery in the state.

Governor Amaechi told the doctors to partner with the government to run the hospitals in the state and warned that henceforth any unregistered hospital in the state will be closed down, as most of them are not doing their best to save life as their primary assignment.

To the shock of many, he said only 25 hospitals are presently registered in Rivers state.

But in a quick re-action to the governor’s address, the Chairman, Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) Dr. P.O.S Obele said it is the government responsibility to set criteria for registration and not to campaign for the closure  of hospitals as an option. He said the private hospitals contributed over 70% of health care services in the world and the only way out is for government to compliment the effort of private practitioners that played a key role in the health sector.

Dr. Obele said as private investors, they help government on policy and programmes on different issues such as free malaria treatment and polio among others.

Dr. Obele who is also the Director,SonabelHospital, opined that they should increase man power development which is the right thing.

“Nobody can stop us from practicing”, he said.

The AGPMPM chairman told journalists that the Rivers state government should emulateIndiawhere there is medical tourism, where government grant loans to private medical doctors to excel in the profession.

“Rather than supporting the role, we play; they want to close down unregistered hospitals which is not the way out”, he said.

He told the media men that their priority is the health of the patient and the government needs to encourage the private practitioners. On the need to check fake doctors he said none of their members operate as fake and that they have a committee set up to monitor those that do not have minimum standards, saying they want to bring sanity into the system.

One of AGPMPM members who pleaded anonymity said since medical equipment are costly and expensive what they needed is encouragement not closure. He said their main problem include finance, books and accommodation and the private doctors know their limit. He said there is a limit for all levels of hospitals and the government should focus more on alternative practitioners who are the unorthodox that has cure for all the ailment plaguing the society. ###

 

Mene Gbarabe/Pius Dukor

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