• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Abia launches free medicare in Aba

Abia launches free medicare in Aba

Abia State government has launched a three-week free medical programme at the General Hospital, Aba, the commercial hub of the state.

The programme, according to the state government, holds every Saturday in July 2023. It is geared towards reviving people’s confidence in the secondary health care facility, which was under lock for six months, due to incessant strikes by health workers in the state.

The immediate past administration owed health workers salary arrears between 18 and 24 months.

Ngozi Okoronkwo, the commissioner for health, who flagged off the programme, on Saturday, on behalf of Governor Alex Otti, said the current administration was prioritising healthcare and the welfare of health workers. She explained that the era when government hospitals were left to rot while the people suffer to get medical attention was over.

The commissioner thanked Abia health workers for showing a high level of dedication, despite the challenges of non-payment of several months of salaries, by the previous government and promised that their welfare would be given priority attention, by Otti’s administration.

“I promise you that your salary will come every month. Don’t ever go to bed thinking that you’ll not be paid. That’s not possible as far as this government is concerned.

“We’ll not only pay salaries, but we’ll supply you with all you need to do your work perfectly”.

She appealed to health workers to be dedicated to their duties, especially during the ongoing free health programme to ensure that every person that requires medicare under the programme is captured.

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“I beg you to be at work so that our people will know that our hospital system is back. I beg you to do your work because it will help us and whenever I present your case to the governor, he will be glad to attend to your request”.

“It’s an opportunity for us to kick-start part of what we had promised regarding the health situation of Abia State. As you all know, the health institution has been challenged over the years.

“The incessant strikes, unpaid salaries and bonuses, infrastructural decay, lack of provision of drugs and consumables. So, you would agree with me that the health sector has not earned its place as it should.

“With the new government arriving and heating the ground running, it’s a great pleasure to see that this is coming on today. The situation we see on the ground is pathetic, but it’s an opportunity for us to show that we now have a governor who is concerned about the people with action”, she said.

The commissioner, however, said that the free medical programme has nothing to do with politics and urged those with such mindset, to rethink, as the government cannot afford to play politics with the lives of the people.
She said that the Aba General Hospital will remain open, throughout the month of July to ensure that people benefit from the programme.

“I am happy that people are responding well. We’ve seen people that we have referred to our teaching hospital for proper treatment. So, if you have to do a follow-up, come back here and they’ll attend to you for free.

“The doctors are here, the nurses are here, but the patients are not coming out in their right numbers because they’ve lost confidence in the system. This is our attempt in helping to restore that confidence,” she said.