Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has decried the level of corruption in the state’s healthcare system, describing it as a deliberate act to further run down a collapsed system.
Mr Obaseki, who stated this in Benin on Sunday at a town hall with medical doctors in the state, said the meeting was convened to discuss the way forward for the state’s healthcare system.
“I have seen corruption like never before in the healthcare system. The level of corruption in the healthcare system in the state is alarming and unacceptable. We have drawn the line; it will no longer be business as usual. It’s left to you to either join us or take a bow honourably,” he said.
Mr Obaseki queried the modality of having just one doctor in Igarra, the headquarters of Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the state, and two in Auchi, ”while there were more doctors in Benin, doing nothing”.
“Patients in these areas visit private hospitals because they have lost faith in our system. On no account should any doctor refuse posting. For the past 10 months now, I have had the opportunity to discuss the healthcare system in the state, it is so clear the system has collapsed.
“I have information to this effect. We have no choice, but to move forward and collectively, we must improve the system and make the people trust the system again.
“We have come to the end of the road of the old order, and now we must chart a new course for a better and improved healthcare system in Edo state,” he said.
Mr Obaseki said the need to move the state forward led to the introduction of the Edo Health Insurance Scheme (EDOHIS).
“Every doctor must now account for what they do to justify their salaries, we must be up and doing as some of you earn twice more than me, who is the governor of the state.
“You have to provide a good healthcare system for Edo people; we must improve our healthcare system. I will put my life on the line for Edo people, their health is important to me and worth dying for; they voted me into power,” he stressed.
The governor also decried a situation where records and data of monthly patients attended to was not readily available in the hospitals.
“We, as the authority that is supposed to certify death and issue certificates, do not have records that can easily be accessed,” he said.
The governor, thereafter, visited the Stella Obasanjo Hospital to ascertain the level of facilities on the ground, after which he gave the health workers a one-week ultimatum to organise themselves and come up with lasting solutions to the problems of healthcare in the state.