Fashola Renews Commitment To Healthcare Reforms
Jan 6, 2009 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), on Tuesday commissioned the Bola Tinubu (BT) Pediatric Complex and BT Health and Diagnostic Centre at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH)l, Ikeja, with a vow that his administration would stop the tradition of exporting people to foreign countries for medical attention.
Governor Fashola told jubilant Lagosians at the occasion that when the transformation of the State’s Healthcare services was completed, especially, the completion of the various childcare specialist centres and specialist renal care hospital in Gbagada, it would no longer be necessary to export people to Britain, America or India to seek cure for such diseases.
“When work is completed on the various childcare specialist centres and specialist renal care hospital in Gbagada, Lagos, we will eliminate infant mortality and stop exporting people to India for renal attention as the state will become the health and economic headquarters of the Sub region”, the Governor said.
Governor Fashola reiterated that the commissioning of the two facilities was a fulfillment of the promise made by his administration that while it would sustain its curative healthcare capacity; it would also focus on preventive healthcare.
He emphasized; “You cannot prevent diseases if you cannot foresee them happening. You cannot cure ailment if you do not know what the problem is”, adding that it would also provide additional diagnostic capacity to the state medical workforce and through it deal another deadly blow to infant mortality in the state while fulfilling one of the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Governor Fashola reiterated that his administration would provide enduring facilities and services for the people of Lagos, pointing out that this represents the least they deserve for entrusting him with their mandate. According to him, “the effectiveness of the provision of infrastructure in the State can be testified by what is being experienced in the judiciary where an improvement in the courts has made practitioners more comfortable and productive”.
Appealing to striking doctors agitating for improved conditions in the state to end their strike action, Governor Fashola enjoined them to count the cost of such action which he said could be irredeemable, adding, “I will not be able to live with my conscience if any patient dies as result of this strike”.
In his words: “We can pay back money, we can pay back arrears and we can provide cars but will not be able to give off life of anyone. I am sure this represents one of the fundamental principles of the Hippocratic Oath which you all swore to.
”I am aware that each doctor and nurse attends to not less than 70 patients on a daily basis. I am also very mindful of the pressure because the Health commissioner has consistently briefed us on it. I know that the best place to start with the welfare package is the infrastructure provision”, the Governor said..
He explained that what needed to be considered by the healthcare workers was the totality of the welfare package, adding; “it should not just be the salary but should include housing and offices in which you work and the equipment to be used”.
“Our goal in the health sector is the welfare of all stakeholders such as the health workers and the patients. Our duty is to place the interest of the people above our personal interest”, the Governor said.
Governor Fashola also said the commitment of the state government to redeem its electoral promises to Lagosians remains unshakeable and unyielding, saying, “we remain committed not only because we want to be committed but because we are persuaded by the merit of that vision as encapsulated in the 10 point agenda of the state”.
“The 10 point agenda of this administration has been so carefully developed and arranged that everyone is important irrespective of the role he plays and it would be a great danger to attempt to alter I”, Governor Fashola said, adding that the 10 point agenda does not seek to paper crack or paint over problems but seeks to unravel problems and solve them in a methodical and progressive manner and making choices between very competing demands.
“Everybody is important, but we must start from one spot and move progressively to other spots. It requires us to choose between children and adults, between doctors and nurses, between teachers and nurses and maintaining roads and floods, assuring that there is a plan for everybody”, he stated.
In his address at the occasion, the former Governor of the State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, said the successes of Lagos State in the healthcare sector has made it a reference point resulting in the State becoming the envy of other states.
He congratulated Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) for the successful completion of the complex, restating that it has once again underscored the fact that he is the best man for the job
He called for patience on the part of the health care workers to understand that the state government is committed to improving their welfare at all times.
He said adequate health care remains the only basis through which a sound and vibrant economy can be felt by the ordinary people.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris said the one of its kind Diagnostic Centre is set to offer the citizenry of Lagos State, qualitative, comprehensive and up to date investigative services which surely will go a long way in the government’s quest for a healthy people.
He added that the 104 bed Bola Ahmed Tinubu Pediatric ward complex is at par with global standards for the enhancement of pediatric and family medicine care.
The ceremony was attended by foremost industrialist and Chancellor of the Lagos State University, Sir Molade Okoya Thomas, Chairman of the Oodua Investments, Chief Julius Adelusi- Adeluyi, the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, former Commissioners for Health and Environment, Dr Leke Pitan and Dr Tunji Bello and several editors of national newspapers and news managers of broadcast organizations who were special guests of the Governor at the occasion.
The Governor later undertook a guided tour of the two buildings which boasts of ultra modern equipments and facilities.