The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration is revolutionizing the healthcare sector, pursuing a holistic decentralization of the system and upgrading primary healthcare centres, equipping them with world-class equipment and manpower to guarantee the delivery of efficient, affordable and quality healthcare services to Edo people.

Obaseki disclosed this at an appreciation dinner in Benin City for home-based medical doctors, scientists, and medical and non-medical volunteers who participated in the just-concluded free medical outreach, organized in partnership with the Association of Nigeria Physicians in the Americas (ANPA).

During the medical mission, the medical professionals offered free specialised healthcare services to the people of Edo State with over 5,000 Edo residents benefitting from the free surgical intervention and treatments for heart, kidney, eye and other ailments.

The governor, who noted that the COVID-19 outbreak exposed the weaknesses in global health systems, said his government is focused on fixing the healthcare system in Edo State, ensuring sustained investment to rebuild the sector

He said, “We have started a revolution in our healthcare system. We are working tirelessly to ensure that you will wake up one day and see our healthcare system becoming second to none in Nigeria.

“Healthcare is not about fancy hospitals or sophisticated equipment but about the health personnel. It’s about the quality of the training and professionalism of those who administer healthcare services to the people. These are all we got from our brothers in the Diaspora during the free medical outreach.”

Reiterating the need for improved collaboration between private organizations and local, state and federal governments, Obaseki noted, “Collaboration between doctors here and their colleagues abroad, as well as clinical and non-clinical medical personnel, has led to the success recorded during the medical mission.

“We got value from this mission and it’s in a hundred times of what we put in as a government. This dinner is to thank you; we know we can’t thank you enough. The lesson of this medical mission is that we can build our own healthcare system to any standard in the world.”

He added, “We don’t need to have a Central Hospital but we have decentralized our healthcare system and have a clinic or primary healthcare centre in every ward. We don’t need to travel miles to seek healthcare. Before we leave office, we must make sure that every ward in Edo State has a primary health care centre.”

The Co-Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and Chief Medical Director (CMD) at Edo Specialist Hospital, Dr. Sunday Adeoye said, “150 surgical interventions occurred at Edo Specialist Hospital (ESH), 180 at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), nine VVF surgeries, 2500 free medicated eyeglasses were given. EDHIS were there to ensure continuous treatment for the indigent people who can’t afford healthcare.”

Earlier in her welcome address, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria commended all stakeholders who contributed to the success of the medical mission, noting that the outreach has changed the lives of the 5,000 beneficiaries in the state.