Medical Tourism
Medical Tourism

Fubara To Turn Rivers Into Medical Tourism Hub

Siminalayi Fubara, the Rivers State Governor, has promised that he will make Rivers State the first choice medical tourism destination in Nigeria, and indeed, Africa.

He explained that to achieve this, his government was seriously paying greater attention to improving healthcare infrastructure and services available to the people, particularly at the primary level to bridge the observed gaps between the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare services in the state.

Governor Fubara emphasised that the ongoing reconstruction, rehabilitation and upgrade of all the primary healthcare facilities across the state, to integrate them into the existing secondary and tertiary institutions, was intended to deliver immediate but quality healthcare services to the majority of the people.

The governor made this known while speaking to newsmen in the Government House, Port Harcourt, on the modest achievements of his administration in the health sector since assumption of office.

He stated that besides the construction, renovation and upgrade of the primary healthcare centres across the state, the capacity of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH), has been improved with the training of personnel, and the establishment of critical units, equipped with modern equipment to deliver sterling expertise services to patients.

“We are proud of our modest achievements in the health sector, particularly in the construction of primary healthcare centres. We are also supporting the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital to perform optimally. Do not also forget the contributory healthcare insurance law that we have started implementing.

“I can assure you that we will complete all the ongoing healthcare infrastructure projects that we have around the state.”

Governor Fubara also identified some challenges that have frustrated the smooth delivery of healthcare services in the state and promised to tackle them.

“With all these on the ground, it is evident that the primary challenges in our healthcare system are more with inadequate manpower, corruption, indiscipline and ineffective management. We will deal with all identified challenges and ensure that the healthcare system functions optimally to deliver affordable and efficient services to all citizens of the state.”

The Commissioner for Health, Adaeze Oreh, said under the leadership of Governor Fubara, the state has experienced formidable strides in building a rigorous and robust primary healthcare system.

Oreh noted that the current emphasis was on renovating and upgrading already existing primary healthcare facilities in order to enhance their functionality so that the Rivers people can have access to affordable and accessible primary healthcare services in the state.

“Another update to note is His Excellency’s approval of the implementation of the Rivers State Contributory Health Protection programme, which is the state’s health insurance scheme.

“His Excellency has approved the implementation, making Rivers State the latest state to come on board on the implementation of health insurance schemes across the country.

“The law was passed in 2021, but unfortunately, we did not have the implementation of the state’s health insurance scheme. But, His Excellency has graciously approved and with the announcement of the appointment of an acting Executive Secretary, in the person of Dr. Vetty Agala, the team has hit the ground running, and the office is in place.

“The Federal Government has been notified. The National Health Insurance Authority and the Office of the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare have all been notified so that all the processes needed for the enrollment of citizens and residents of Rivers State in the health insurance scheme, especially our vulnerable populations, can immediately commence.”

Oreh further highlighted the importance of the ongoing employment of various categories of health workers in the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, and the Rivers State Hospitals Management Board, as approved by the governor.

She said the application process was still open with the online application portal inundated with applications from across the state and the diaspora.

“Citizens from Rivers State, who are currently working in the diaspora are keen to return to contribute their quota to the Rivers State health sector.”