Speaker of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly, Barr Onofiok Luke has expressed confidence that Governor Udom Emmanuel’s achievements in the healthcare delivery sector will count positively in his re-election bid. He therefore implored medical practitioners in the state to be agents of the ongoing reforms in the health sector through supporting the second term of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Addressing the leadership of the Akwa Ibom state branch of the National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP) on Tuesday, Hon. Luke noted cited several government revolutionary measures to reposition healthcare delivery in Akwa Ibom state in just three years.
“Today we talk about the General Hospital Ikono and the General Hospital Ikot Okoro and even the financial support for the Ibom Specialist hospital and other primary healthcare centres across the state. If all these can be done in just three years then you can agree with me that the next 4 years will bring about a total turnaround in healthcare delivery in the state”, the Speaker said.
Speaker Luke said that Governor Udom Emmanuel has developed manpower within the healthcare sector. He noted also the roles played by the state legislature to support the governor’s healthcare agenda.
“Away from infrastructure development, let’s look at manpower and capacity development. Before now, some states had what they called the primary healthcare development agency while Akwa Ibom never did. These agencies made for universal healthcare coverage in their various states, and the synergy between the local and state governments in healthcare delivery. The Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly came up with a legislation which His Excellency appended his signature and today we have the primary healthcare development agency. The meaning of this is that we are going to have a total turnaround the primary healthcare delivery in the state.”
“With investment in personnel and infrastructure development, we would have had this turnaround in the shortest possible time. What we stand to gain in the next four years are enormous. We have also legislated on the health insurance scheme. The governor has signed it and it is in the agenda of the our party, the Peoples Democratic Party to implement the state health insurance scheme so that government can take away the burden of healthcare financing from individual citizens and share it among the trio of government, employers and individual citizens. This is in the agenda of His Excellency Governor Udom Emmanuel and that is what we are going to see in the next four years when he is given that opportunity to become the governor of the state.”
The Speaker further assured the health practitioners that the state government is always “open for inputs and ideas on the best ways that we could speedily execute all of government’s programmes on healthcare delivery in the state.”
Earlier in his address, the state chairman of NAGGMDP, Dr Anthony Leo Umana, thanked the state government for ensuring that “government medical doctors are enjoying regular monthly salaries”, noting that “payment of arrears of entitlement have so far been commenced by this superior performing governor.”