The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire visited at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Benin City to ascertain the level of damage done to the hospital’s infrastructure by the heavy rainstorm that struck in Benin City on Tuesday 12th October 2021. One could describe the Minister’s visit as a prompt response of the government to the plea of the Hospital’s Management in its challenging times.
The Minister was received by the CEO/Medical Director, Dr. I.O. Agbonile on Thursday 15th October 2021 at the hospital premises and was shortly led on a tour around the affected buildings, viz: Administrative Block, Out-Patient Department, Crèche/Pre-Kg/Shopping Mall/Kitchen Block, NHIS Block, School of Psychiatric Nursing Block, Staff Multi-purpose Cooperative Society building. It is also worthy of note that part of the walkways connecting the buildings and a couple of cars belonging to some members of staff were badly damaged.
Dr. Ehanire who described the incident caused by the natural disaster as monumental, but however commiserated with the hospital’s management and assured her of Federal Government support to help lighten the burden. He also used the medium to express satisfaction with the performance of the Hospital Management as regard the quality of service delivery and the developmental activities going on in the hospital.
In an interview with the Media Correspondent of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), the Minister stated that the Ministry of Health was well rated at the Ministerial Performance Review Meeting in which the focus was largely on what had happened in a couple of few years back, noting that the Ministry is focused on doing even better in order to deliver the expectations of the citizens that voted the President Buhari led administration into power. He enumerated some of the achievements of the present administration in the health sector which include the president’s approval to establish National Orthopedic and Accident Hospital for Edo State and two other states, the upgrade of the hospital services, as well as, the response of the Presidential Team in handling Covid-19 which has received commendation from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Secretary-General, amongst others. When asked about, “the projections of the current administration in the next few months or before it comes to an end”, the Minister said that the Federal Government has plans to set up National Orthopedic and Accident Wards, to improve service delivery at the University of Benin, Benin City (UBTH) and other hospitals, the creation of the National Emergency Ambulance System, etc.
On his part, the Medical Director thanked the Minister for his quick response. According to him, “we are very grateful and extremely impressed with the response from the Federal Government through the Minister. This shows that we have a government that listens. He has seen things for himself and we are hopeful that very soon we will have the kind of financial help that we need to bring things back to the way it used to be”. He was however thankful to the Almighty God that despite the extent of the damage, no life was lost.
In a vote of thanks, the Head of Administration, Princess Oriri Akenzua on behalf of management expressed appreciation to the Minister for visiting the hospital at a very short notice and wished the Minister and his entourage safe journey back to Abuja. Other Heads of Department who spoke to our correspondent all solicited support from the Federal Government, and other levels of government including corporate bodies and well meaning Nigerians alike.