By ASuquo Edem
“Organizing healthcare information is a daunting task, but it is not an impossible task. we’ve had people walk on the moon” – Bill Maris
It was Monica Crowley who once said that if government controls your healthcare, the government indirectly controls you.
Crowley in going further noted that the much hyped Obamacare was never about healthcare but was basically hinged on government power, dependency and control.
Ibom specialty hospital has of recent been in the news for so many odd reasons even when the last reason was meant to shoot up the hospital in good light but actually fell flat to the face.
This Specialty Hospital which was established by the former governor of the State, Chief Godswill Akpabio and launched officially in 2015 was constructed based on world class standard has three hundred and two bed space and is funded by government itself as all moves aimed at handing over to managers have failed.
Fitted with a 640-slice CT Scan (Toshiba), Magnetic Resonace Imaging (MRI), Xray with digital radiology, and computerized radiology and fluovoscopy, mannogram machine amongst other technological diagnostic equipments.
I remember once I had an interview with the present commissioner for health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, he described the hospital as only being a referral hospital and last bus stop for ailing parents and concluded that if ones case cannot be treated at that hospital, one could as well just go home and die.
I took his words to be true as I visited the hospital with so much hope in 2016 when my late wife fell really ill and was shocked to my marrow as the health staff told me that they don’t have the manpower nor capacity to treat her. The rest is history as I left and my wife died-confirming the commissioners statement.
On another occasion where I was prunledged to be part of an inspection oversight visit by the House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation to the hospital, the head of the medical team informed the house committee that the hospital was sitting on a time bomb as it was operating on a single generating set. However the donation of a generating set by the MD of NDDC, Mr. Nsima Ekere only received backlash.
Akwa Ibom State Government recently, corroborated the words of Monica Crowley earlier stated at the beginning of this piece as it has clearly been depicted that Akwa Ibom State Government actions on the hospital has only shown that of displaying power, control and of scoring cheap political points even when precious human life is involved.
While it is no longer news that the much touted hospital had claimed its first major victim, the actions of the government calls to question. The hospital which has no known managing medical firm after the fall in agreement between the State Government and Cardiocare conducted its first neurosurgery on the 18th of April.
That was not even the news, what made news was that the government being over excited on its feat, called a press briefing to celebrate even when the patient was yet to stabilize.
Speaking during the briefing, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong stated clearly that several consortia of medical firms overseas and within have indicated interest to manage the hospital even as they have received proposals from Canada, Europe, and Saudi Arabia, assuring that the most successful firm would win the bid to carryout services at the hospital.
This went further to confirm that the hospital had no form of management as the Neurosurgeon, Dr. Okezie Kann was only drafted in to carryout the “test” surgery.
The unexpected however occurred as the patient died a week after but the same government out of sheer shame is yet to call yet another briefing to continue to enjoy their camera wash.
The government can help itself by concentrating on rendering deliverables and dentist using healthcare and that of its citizens to score cheap political points. Government should be bold enough to tender an unreserved apology to the late patient’s family for riding on its back solely for political reasons.
I rest my case!
By ASuquo Edem