By Labaran Tijani, Lokoja.
Kogi state government has said that the health and wellbeing of the people of the state would remain one of the topmost priorities of governor Yahaya Bello led administration.
The Special Adviser on Health, Dr Ahmed Attah, who represented governor Bello disclosed this at the official inauguration of Maimunat and Usman Yahaya Foundation Hospital, a community-based private full-fledged hospital in Ankpa in the east senatorial district of the state.
Governor Bello said a healthy nation was a wealthy one and against that backdrop, his government was committed to ensuring that public health facilities in the state were adequately catered for.
The governor therefore congratulated the people of Ankpa Local Government for the establishment of the hospital, saying that he was particularly happy that it would aid the government’s resolve to minimise the maternal and neonatal mortality rate in the flank of the state.
Governor Bello pledged government support to the hospital in the areas of manpower, drugs and consumables, urging the management to avail itself of the opportunities provided under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Earlier, Alhaji Abubakar Usman Yahaya, Founder and Chairman of the Maimuna and Usman Yahaya Foundation Hospital said the 16-bed capacity hospital was a demonstration of his service to humanity and giving back to the society.
Alhaji Yahaya said it would be better to affect and touch lives through positive interventions in areas of soceital needs rather than amassing wealth in aggrandisement which was all vanity.
“This will also arrest the syndrome of patients patronising quack doctors as a result of lack of money to access proper diagnosis and treatment”, stressed.
Yahaya whose mother, Hajia Maimunat died a week to the inauguration of the hospital said, “In the rural areas, a sick person may refuse to go to the hospital because of as little as N1,000 or N2,000 that he cannot afford to pay for treatment bills.
“We have taken cognizance of the high rate of health charges in most private hospitals. So, this will serve as alternative. Here we are giving opportunity for them to access quality health services without restraint.
“Our nurses and doctors are under instruction not to reject any patient on account of money but to save life first. Presently, we have two medical doctors, a matron and 24 nurses, he said.
The hospital that commenced operation on Friday has been giving free medical services to the patients who were diagonised suffering from various ailments.
According to Alhaji Yahaya, the newly commissioned hospital will offer free medical treatment for over 1,000 patients for three days, adding after that the hospital will charge patients at a highly subsidised rate; even as he said the hospital will treat people on credit, in order to reduce death in the society.
“We will treat patients who could not afford money to get treatment of their ailment at the hospital. We will treat first, pay us later. What matters is to safe life, not money”, he said.
It was gathered that members of Kogi House of Assembly, government functionaries, traditional rulers and people from all walks of life and indigenes of Ankpa Local Government graced the occasion.