A prominent group of health professionals in Edo State, the Better Health for Edo, has criticised the Governor Godwin Obaseki administration over the poor state of health care.
They endorsed the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, for having a detailed and realistic manifesto on how to provide quality and affordable health care for all.
In a meeting with Ize-Iyamu’s wife, Prof. Idia Ize-Iyamu, a consultant orthodontist at the University of Benin Teaching hospital (UBTH), the medical group announced its formation of “POI Health” support group, which includes members of subsectors in the health profession charged with the mandate to conduct health awareness campaigns at strategic points in Edo to sell the POI health agenda to other professionals and the public.
Prof. Ize-Iyamu thanked the body for its support and assured it of her husband’s commitment to the health sector, including addressing the poor doctor to patient ratio, lack of infrastructure and an enabling environment.
She said: “As a health professional, with years of practice in the state, I’m familiar with the issues you have raised. In Edo today, we have less than 200 doctors in the 18 local governments to serve 3.5 million people. This has caused a poor ratio of one doctor to 17,500 people.
“The only good hospital we had as a state hospital, the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Benin, which catered for a large number of diverse medical, surgical and gynecological issues, was stripped of the state-of-the-art facilities and turned to a COVID-19 centre.
“The question is, where are these indigenes that have other medical issues? If you go to the Central Hospital, Benin, owned by the state government, there is no roof at the male medical ward. The dialysis centre is no more functional. The stench from the heap of faeces there is suffocating.
“How can professionals work when the environment is not conducive? We have a goal, our medical profession must rise again. We must get our health care system right and it takes passion. We must believe in our profession and invest in it. Edo State should be the reference centre for medicine. Accessibility is one of the strong points of Pastor Ize-Iyamu, but you cannot get this from other aspirants.
“Pastor Ize-Iyamu will deliver on his promises when elected. If you support us, we will not disappoint you. I see a better future for Edo State and this is more so for doctors.”
The wife of the APC governorship candidate said her husband’s SIMPLE Agenda contained a detailed and workable plan for doctors.
She said his administration would provide an enabling environment and build infrastructure that would generate employment.