By Lucky Isibor
The Edo state branch of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, has said that only three hospitals are functional in Edo state out of the 24 government owned hospitals.
The Chairman of of the state branch of the Chairman, Nigeria Medical (NMA), Dr. Emmanuel Osaigbovo disclosed this on Wednesday in an interview with news men in Benin City.
He named the functional hospitals as the Central Hospital, Stella Obasanjo Hospital, both in Benin City and General Hospital, Auchi.
However, he said that in the course of the five days warning strike embarked upon by the association last March, the state government hinted of its intention to ensure the rejuvenation of all its hospital.
The NMA chairman said this was contained in a government blueprint on the health sector in the state, which was made available to the association.
He noted that the blueprint also contained government possible solution to some of the issues raised, which prompted the strike.
He added that the government blueprint outlined plans for new development of primary healthcare centres, with the first 20 to be rehabilitated within three months and an additional 200 to be completed within 24 months.
Osaigbovo also disclosed that the government has given assurance to employ more doctors and allied health workers before the end of the year.
While emphasising that the people deserve the best in the provision of health services, Osaigbovo urged the state government to ensure all its health facilities are maximally utilized by providing adequate facilities and the requisite manpower.
The NMA chairman, who blamed strike actions in the country on the inability of government to do the needful for her citizens, urged government to always show commitment to the welfare of citizens and stop reneging on promises.
He said that this was because the citizens were the most hit by hardship and the effect of any industrial action.
Osaigbovo revealed that it took the intervention of the Benin monarch, the State House of Assembly and well meaning citizens of the state to stop the association from proceeding on an indefinite strike after the five days warning strike in March.
He then pointed out that the state government owed an obligation to implement the agreement reached with the association.