Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has inaugurated a seven-man committee to activate some moribund health facilities in the state.
Inaugurating the committee in Government House, Port Harcourt, the governor charged members to deploy measures required to revamp the dormant Prof. Kelsey Harrison Hospital.
Wike urged them to engage competent personnel that would deliver the best results to enable the hospital resume offering services to the people of the state.
Wike said: “Prof. Kelsey Harrison Hospital has not been operational because of litigation over the agreement between International Trauma and Critical Care Centre Limited (ITCC) and the Rivers State Government.
“The committee set up by the State Executive Council made fundamental recommendations. We, therefore, decided to ensure they are implemented immediately without bureaucracy.
“You are saddled with the responsibility of how Kelsey Harrison Hospital should be revitalised and made more functional. It should serve people in the densely populated area of Diobu.
“There will also be the need to hand it over to the Rivers State Hospitals Management Board at the end of the day,” he said.
Wike urged to reposition the Dental and Maxilo-Facial Hospital and integrate it into the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) wondering why such a facility would exist while the teaching hospital would be offering dental services from a makeshift accommodation.
He said: “I also learned that RSUTH has lost accreditation for internship for dental residency training. So we have decided that it should be handed over to the Teaching Hospital in order to retain accreditation”.
The governor further described as unacceptable the poor financial remittance by the Ashes to Ashes Funeral Limited to RSUTH.
He urged the committee to look at the existing agreement and structure it to benefit the state government.
“Why will the Hospital rely totally on government when they charge for the services they render. As a government, we pay salaries of workers and we have fixed modern infrastructure and equipment for the hospital.
“We have to look at the 25:75 percent revenue sharing ratio between government and the Ashes to Ashes Funeral Limited and review it. It is not right that the Government that built and equipped the mortuary will be collecting 25 percent profit and the service provider collects 75 percent.
“The new arrangement will also create room for the Hospital to train Pathologists and Morticians at no extra cost. I believe that members of this Committee are quite experienced and you will be expected to submit your report within the next month.
The committee is chaired by the State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, and has the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, and the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike as members.
Others are the Chairman of RSUTH, Dr. J. N. Hart; Chief Medical Director of RSUTH, Dr. Friday Aaron; Chief Medical Director of Rivers State Hospitals Management Board, Dr. Kenneth Okagwa and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mrs. Ndidi Uchay who is to serve as Secretary.
In her response, Banigo noted that Governor Wike has never politicized issues of health and education.
She said the state succeeded in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic because of the governor’s commitment.
“We are quite privileged to be saddled with this responsibility that will further enhance the quality of life of our people in line with your vision.
“We promise that we will attend to this task with the utmost sense of urgency to restore the affected health facilities to optimum use,” she said.