Obaseki said this at an interactive session with healthcare stakeholders at Government House, Benin City, the state capital, on Friday.
The governor, who presented the Edo State Health Improvement Programme (EDOHIP) to the stakeholders during the session, said the purpose of the interactive session was to have an honest and open discussion on how to make the state’s healthcare sector more effective and efficient.
“Our healthcare system in Edo State must be restored. We want to make this state a destination for medical tourism. I don’t want to see any patient passing through Edo to other states. Rather, I want them to stop in Edo State for treatment.
“Our goal as a government is to ensure that by the time we finish with all the reforms in the health sector, Edo will become the healthcare hub of the nation”.
He said he is championing a reformist administration that prioritises programmes and policies that make life better for the people of the state.
According to him, “We are a reformist government. We try to prioritise our programmes as a government and the healthcare sector is not left out as we have a road map to guide us in developing the sector and making it more efficient and effective.
“Healthcare is not cheap; we need a system to identify who pays for healthcare and how the payments will flow. We don’t have all the resources but we can create the enabling environment and pull in the resources. We will create the structure and bring all elements on board to ensure the sector works effectively.”
“By the end of next year, we would have enough diagnostic centres. There will be five to seven centres with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines and Computed Tomography (CT) scan machines for basic diagnosis. We will have 10 to 12 centres for dialysis. It is not the money but the way to organise the system.”
Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Osamwonyi Irowa, said the Governor Obaseki-led administration has done well in developing the healthcare sector and needs the support of stakeholders to move the sector to the next level with Edo-HIP.
Uzor Okomah, of Edo-HIP, said the state government was working hard to meet objectives set for the programme in the state.
She explained that the government’s focus is on improving the state’s primary and secondary healthcare systems; enhancing healthcare financing and revamping training institutions to produce quality health workers.
Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Edo State Chapter, Dr. Omoifo Valentine, urged government at all levels to improve services at the healthcare centres with good facilities and trained manpower.