Rivers govt committing to making medical school best in Nigeria- Wike
By Amaechi Okonkwo, Port Harcourt
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has stated that the state government made deliberate investment in the State College of Medical Sciences Rivers University in order to make the college the best in the country.
Governor Wike disclosed that based on the facilities on ground at the Rivers State University College of Medical Sciences, MDCN approval quota for the institution should not be less than 150.
The governor made remark when a delegation of the accreditation team of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to the Rivers State University College of Medical Sciences paid him a courtesy call at Government House in Port Harcourt.
He urged the council not to politicise approved quota for Medical and Dental Schools in Nigeria.
Governor Wike, urged the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to resist playing politicss with approved quota for Medical and Dental Schools in Nigeria, particularly the Rivers State University College of Medical Sciences where huge investment has been made in the provision of requisite facilities.
He said the health care system in Nigeria requires very serious attention because the huge amount of foreign exchange expended by Nigerians on medical tourism overseas is shocking urging government at all levels to prioritise investment in the health sector.
He said; “The health care system in Nigeria requires very serious attention. It is unfortunate where we are. I don’t want to comment on people who are traveling for medical check”.
“I have not travelled for the past two years. If we have all these things here why do we have to travel. We have all it takes to provide it. Why will I go out to do my check (overseas) when I have all the facilities in Government House. I don’t need it. Every thing that is required for me to undergo any test is here. The resources we have it. Why can’t we provide it for our people,” the governor added.
Wike explained that the State government will sign contract for construction of a world class Cancer and Cardiovascular diseases centre with Julius Berger. According to him, when the centre which is expected to be completed within 14 months is ready, it will boost the internally generated revenue of the state government.
Wike said; “This Cancer and Cardiovascular diseases center we are building, will have helipad, doctors quarter, everything. I want to collect the revenue from you people from other states. Don’t travel again. Come here so that the Dollar you will be spending overseas, you will spend it in Rivers state. That is my own agenda to beef up our internally generated revenue.
“For a country like Nigeria, we cannot boost of having where people can say they are leaving Egypt to come to Nigeria. Rather, our people are going to Egypt. It is such a terrible thing. That is the level Nigeria is. Basic things we are supposed to provide for our people, we cannot.
“You can imagine if I travel now for medical check. Do you know the money it will cost? Do you know how much it will cost poor tax payers? So it is very important that we should give attention to our medical facilities.”
The governor blamed the nonchalant attitude of administrators of government owned hospitals for the decay these institutions have experienced over the years. He described as morally outrageous a situation whereby administrators of government owned hospitals allow the facilities to die, while their own private hospitals flourish.
“Why do you people kill Government hospitals because it is not your own, he asked saying; “You go to your clinic it is doing well but the Government hospital is down.”
The Registrar Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Dr. Tajudeen Sanusi, lauded the governor for the construction of the Basic Clinical Sciences and Clinical Sciences building at the Rivers State University College of Medical Sciences.
He said MDCN will consider the governor’s request that the approved quota for Rivers State University College of Medical Sciences should not be less than150.
The Pro-Chancellor of the Rivers State University, Justice Iche Ndu (rtd), said the accreditation of medical programmes at the State College of Medical Sciences has been of great importance to the State government. He lauded the governor for fulfilling his promise to provide funds for the provision of basis facilities at the College and converting the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital to the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital.