Akwa Ibom to enact law for creation of primary healthcare board
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, disclosed this in Uyo on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Ukpong explained that when the bill is passed into law by the State House of Assembly, primary healthcare delivery will be handled directly by the state.
“We want to take out primary healthcare from the local government areas so as to create impact in rural communities.
“The primary healthcare sector had been left to decay. Many things have gone wrong.
“We want to put the foundation right, then move to the secondary and the tertiary sectors,” Ukpong said.
Ukpong, who is a specialist in occupational medicine and trauma, said that his experience in the private sector had prepared him to deliver good healthcare services in the state.
“We want to rebuild our hospitals from the primary health and the comprehensive health centres, polyclinics to the general hospitals.
“We want to reverse medical tourism by putting things like job satisfaction and security in place that will attract specialists to come to work in our state,” Ukpong said.
He said that the Ibom Specialist Hospital inaugurated by the immediate past administration could not function because a lot of specialists and equipment were needed.
“We are going to revisit the place, a huge amount of money will be involved,” Ukpong said.
He said that within the last two months in office, he had evolved programmes to boost morale of staff and also discipline erring officers.
Ukpong disclosed that 20 nurses had been warned and also transferred to new duty posts because of laxity while on duty.
He said that the Inspectorate Division of the Ministry had been empowered to monitor and seal off private hospitals or clinics operating below required standard.
The commissioner advised the citizens to always patronise approved medical facilities run by trained medical personnel rather than going to traditional herbal homes.
He lamented that the ministry had received reports on cases of kidney failure and associated complications arising from intake of herbs.
Besides, Ukpong urged the citizens to have faith in the healthcare services provided by the government and the trained medical personnel.
He also advised clerics not to prevent their members from seeking medical attention from approved medical facilities and qualified medical personnel.