By George Onah
Port Harcourt â€” Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has challenged chief executives of federal tertiary hospitals in the country to proffer solutions and recommend what would aid governments in the improvement of the nationâ€™s healthcare system.
Amaechi, who spoke at the the 62nd Regular Meeting of the Committee of Chief Executives at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, said the nation depended on the medical profession for its well being.
Represented by his deputy, Tele Ikuru, the governor said as professionals, they were in a position to re-examine the healthcare system of the country and fashion out ways of restructuring it in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
â€œYou must think of ways to restructure the medical system of the nation to bring about better health for the people,â€ he said.
As heads of tertiary hospitals, you must look at what structure you have and how to effectively manage our hospitals to enable government provide better healthcare delivery for the citizenry,â€ he said.
On the part of the state government, Amaechi disclosed that his administration was not resting on its oars as it was constructing 150 health centres across the state and urged medical practitioners to see their calling as a life saving one that required dedication and sincerity.
â€œAs professionals, you should be dedicated to your services bearing in mind that life is involved. The health system is about saving lives, so you must be sincere and dedicated,â€ said Amaechi who described hospital chief executives as the engine room of the medical system in Nigeria.
In his speech, Chairman of the Committee of Chief Executives of Federal Tertiary Hospitals, Dr Isa Dutse, who is also the Chief Medical Director, Aminu Kano University Teaching Hospital, Kano, disclosed that â€œNigeria has a total of 52 tertiary hospitals whose primary responsibility is to promote primary healthcare in the countryâ€.
He explained that the aim of the committee was to promote the activities of the federal tertiary hospitals and proffer suggestions that will enhance healthcare delivery.
He praised the Rivers State government for the support being rendered the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) since its inception.
Chief Medical Director of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Dr Uriah Etawo, traced the history of the hospital from 1980, stating that the services of the hospital had improved greatly.
â€œWe now see over 1,000 patients in our out-patient clinics daily; we are in the process of expanding our bed capacity from 510 to 800 beds before the end of this year,â€ he added.