By Precious Akutamadu
Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers, on Monday, sacked the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike, for allegedly hosting preliminary session of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) without approval.
Wike announced the commissioner’s sack when the MDCN Chairman, Prof. Abba Hassan, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
The governor described the unilateral decision of the commissioner to host MDCN without the consent of the state government as ‘most embarrassing’.
He said that the state government did not request to host the preliminary session of the council.
Wike stressed that the commissioner erred by unilaterally scheduling hosting of MDCN for the same time government was inaugurating and flagging off of projects.
“Frankly speaking, I have never seen an embarrassment like this in my life. Everybody knows that it is not my nature to bring people and not attend to them. So, whoever has done this must suffer for it,” he said.
Wike, however, said that MDCN’s request for the establishment of tertiary hospital in each of their senatorial districts would not be realisable due to paucity of funds.
“You have talked about siting tertiary hospital in each of the senatorial districts; this is not possible.
”That is why in Nigeria we have a problem. When you go for your budget, you put all kinds of projects. You know it cannot work. Where will you get the money to site the hospital in each of the senatorial districts?” he queried.
The governor said in order to improve citizens’ access to quality healthcare service delivery, his administration had embarked on construction of some zonal hospitals in Bori, Degema, Etche, Ahoada and Omoku.
He further said his government had also invested huge amount of resources on promotion of medical education in the state.
”This is particularly with the establishment of Rivers State University College of Medical Sciences and the annual award of scholarship to 130 indigenes studying medicine at PAMO University of Medical Sciences,” he said.
The governor called for reduction of the money accruing to the Federal Government from the Federation Account to enable states to have more resources to drive their developments.
Earlier, Hassan said that they were in the state for the 9th preliminary session of the council and commended Wike for his positive attitude toward healthcare and medical delivery services in the state.
He was particular about the huge investment in Rivers State University College of Medical Science and the construction of the world-class Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Diagnostic and Treatment Centre.
The MDCN chairman urged governors to consider investing in tertiary hospitals in each of the senatorial districts to increase the number of hospitals available for the training of house officers and check medical tourism. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)