Minister commissions Onitsha FMC


Minister commissions Onitsha  FMC 

By Calis Mbadugha, Onitsha

The Minister of State for Health, Hon. Ekumankama Joseph Nkama, Thursday, in Onitsha, commissioned Federal Medical Center, FMC, Onitsha, Anambra State, which was formerly the Onitsha General hospital.

Speaking during the commissioning, the Minister said that it was in line with President Mohammadu Buhari's resolve to ensure a modern virile and people-centric healthcare system that is fundamental to his vision for the socio-economic growth of the nation.

He lamented that the Nigerian health sector still carries some critical challenges which have resulted in sub-optimal outcomes and attributed it to a variety of factors that include, fragmentation of health service delivery, insufficient health financing , inadequate motivation and poor distribution of health workers, inadequate  infrastructure and equipment  and relately low private sector participation.

"These factors have precipitated significant revenue loss due to growing medical tourism, and even the loss of our trained personnel which is a frightening phenomenon even now.

"Government has the primary responsibility to address these issues and to put in place  the structures and arrangements necessary to boost the efficiency  of the healthcare  personnel and reduce the pressure we currently have on our foreign reserves  on account of medical tourism.

"In the pursuit of President Mohammadu Buhari's mandate for all sectors of governance in the roadmap to the "next level agenda, titled , "Delivering on the Government's Priorities 2019-2023", which provides a strategic direction for the executive to be responsible for delivering on their sectors, the mandate on the priority area of Human Capital Development is to improve Health, Education and Productivity of Nigerians," he stated.

The Minister stated further that one of the key priorities is to reduce current imbalance  between primary, secondary and tertiary health care as this is the key to the establishment of more tertiary health care facilities for which Federal Medical Center is the latest.

He said that the mandate of the new FMC was to provide preventive, curative, and rehabilitative healthcare services to all Nigerians and even parents from the West African sub-region.

According to him the FMC's core values should be patients/clients first, result-oriented, integrity, quality care, teamwork, commitment and professionalism.

He told the workers and residents that whom much is given, much is expected  pointing out that the transformation they have seen must be benefits  of citizens of Anambra, Nigeria and the world at large stating that they must work as a team to implement Federal Government's agenda on health and must never fail below standard.

Earlier in her address, the Acting Medical Director, Dr. Mercy Anugwu, said the commissioning marked a very important day in the history of the centre, stating that the State is the eight most populous State in Nigeria.

She said that healthcare services were dominantly private sector driven, as out of a total of 2,297 facilities delivering health services, 699 (74%) are private facilities and 598 (26%) are public facilities.

"The public sector comprises of 315 primary, 36 secondary and one tertiary health facilities. The General Hospital Onitsha, now FMC, is the largest secondary public health facility in the State and covers a total of 15.2 acres. The center is over 60 years old , established by the colonial masters and currently  has 135 bed spaces.

She recalled that the move to establish the FMC was informed by need to bridge the existing gap between primary, secondary health and tertiary healthcare delivery in Anambra State and Nigeria.

"The FMC, like it's counterparts around the world, is envisioned as a multidisciplinary centre for treatment, research, harnesting science and development  innovative  means of tackling the numerous health challenges bedeviling the nation" she stated.

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