BusinessDay

Abia APGA guber candidate defrays bills of indigent persons at FMC

Gregory Ibe, a professor and the Abia State, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship candidate for the 2023 election, has defrayed bills of many indigent persons, who could not pick their hospital bills at the Federal Medical Centre, (FMC), Umuahia, after being discharged.

The intervention is coming about two weeks after an online report got to Ibe that a patient, one Chukwudi, at the hospital, appealed for public assistance to clear N70,000 balance of his bills to avoid being detained.

One of the beneficiaries, Comfort Okoro, from Arochukwu, said that if not for Ibe’s intervention, her hope of returning to her house any time soon would have been dashed.

The 65-year old who disclosed that she was discharged last week but detained because of N30,000 balance, prayed God to grant the APGA candidate his heart desires.

Similarly, another beneficiary, Chinyere Nwankwo, who also said she was discharged last week but was unable to raise N3000 balance, described Ibe as a messiah.

She said her 15-year-old son had been selling sachet water to see if he could raise the balance but had not been able to do so.

Addressing newsmen after going round some wards to interact with the patients, Ibe said he was touched by their pathetic conditions.

He said the gesture heralded the beginning of the healthcare programme of his manifesto, assuring that Abia under his watch would witness a quality, available and affordable healthcare delivery.

The APGA governorship candidate promised to bring foreign collaborators on orthopedic and heart surgery in the weeks ahead.

He promised a comprehensive health insurance scheme for the aged (70 years and above) to elongate their life span.

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Ibe sympathized with the downtrodden, who are battling to survive the biting economic hardship, noting that many have died due to poverty.

“APGA is all about caring for the needs of the people, so, I have come to discharge all the indigents in this hospital.

“The economy is bad and we need to start from somewhere to give hope to our people. When we take over this state, healthcare will be given priority.”

Ibe, who also made donations for non- indigent patients, commended the management of FMC for its intervention in the healthcare delivery system in the state.

Responding, Onyebuchi Azubuike, chief medical director of the hospital, commended Ibe for the gesture, and prayed God to reward him.

Obinna Ichita, APGA leader in the state, who accompanied him, also thanked Ibe for the gesture, saying that healthcare provision remains part of the core mandates of government, which it had regrettably abandoned.

The Abia lawmaker, who decried the deplorable condition of the health sector in the state, noted that but for the presence of the FMC, which is the major functional health institution in the state, many patients would have died untimely.

He accused the state government of not showing enough interest to revamp the health sector particularly for owing doctors in the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, which led to their protracted strike that made the institution to lose accreditation for admission of medical students.

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