The Federal Government has opened the permanent site of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital in Nnewi, Anambra State, for the commencement of medical and healthcare services.
The Minister of State for Health, Joseph Ekumankama, who unveiled the hospital on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari , on Friday, stated that the medical facility has been designed, equipped and fortified to serve the medical needs of not just Anambra residents, but the South-East environs and other catchment areas.
Ekumankama pointed out that the National Health Act has made it mandatory for all Nigerians to receive free medical care up to the tune of N250,000 per year, irrespective of tribe, religion, or ethnic group, adding that the Act also supports health insurance for all Nigerians.
He pointed out that the current administration had made it mandatory that the health sector receive 100 per cent budget funding, stressing the importance of the teaching hospital in providing quality health care delivery and well-being, not just to the people of Anambra State, but the entire South-East residents.
He added that moving the hospital to its permanent site is a historic event, that began over 20 years ago.
The minister appealed to the people, staff and management to ensure that the facility did not come under any form of vandalism.
He said, “What we see here today is a lot of sacrifices, a lot of projects sought the attention from the national budget, but the Federal Government decided to invest heavily in this particular project because of its importance to the well-being of the people.
“It will be a thing of sorrow that if in the next few years to come if this facility is seen to be deteriorating. Make sure that you do everything possible to ensure that you render the best health care services to the people who will come from far and near to receive medical health care from this hospital and also ensure the maintenance of this beautiful edifice.”
In her contributions, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Mrs. Adejoke Adefulire-Orelope, emphasised that one of the basic goals of the SDGs was to ensure effective primary health care in rural communities.
“There is still much work to be done, the work is still ongoing, and we will continue to work with the new administration to ensure that the project is continuing,” she added.
Earlier, the Chief Medical Director, NAUTH, Dr. Joseph Ugboaja, said in his address, that moving into the hospital’s permanent site was one of his key agendas when he assumed office, adding that the hospital has been well-equipped and fortified to cater to all the medical needs of the people.
Ugboaja stressed that he and his staff would do everything humanly possible to ensure that the hospital is positioned to a level where it will be globally competitive among the top five in the world.
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The Chairman of the Management Board of the hospital, Mr. Ezekiel Afukonyo, said that since its inception, more than 30 years, the hospital has operated from its temporary site, which has limited space for proper treatment of patient care and future expansion.
Afukonyo noted that the board resolved to move the hospital to its permanent site to meet the yearnings of the people.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Afam Obidike, who represented the governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, stressed that Nnewi has been designed to be among the centres to be providing advanced medical services.
“We thank the President for this historic event, which started over two decades ago. We plan to be producing oxygen cylinders here and to make this place a centre to provide advanced medical services. Buildings, equipment and structure do not make hospitals; what makes hospitals is the quality of service being rendered, and we will continue to partner with relevant institutions to ensure enhanced service delivery,” he added.
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