The white painted sepulchre called Five-Star Central Hospital Benin
BY HON. (BARR) OGIERHIAKHI FRIDAY OSAKPAMWAN
A sepulchral could be a grave; hollowness or deep; usually, it is filthy, unpleasant, and odious. A WHITE PAINTED SEPUCHRAL therefore, idiomatically suggests deceit, treachery window dressing or cover-up of the dirt that is beneath the SEPUCHRAL – dead bones, shroud, sods and maggots . The new building squeezed into position within the premises of the Central Hospital, Benin City by the AAE OSHIOMHOLE’S dying administration is such that fits or qualifies as a white painted sepulchral because the sheer glamour of it is deliberately to hoodwink the unsuspecting members of the public into believing that all is well with our health care system whereas, the rot in the health care delivery system of our dear State is in a manner of speaking even, ‘audible to the deaf and visible even to the blind’.
It is indeed a calculated insult on our collective intelligence as a people, for Oshiomhole to attempt to sell us the dummy that this mere building would wish away the glaring health challenges that confronts the down trodden worsened of course by the government lackadaisical attitude towards the deplorable condition of hospitals and primary health care centres scattered all over Edo State. The Central Hospital is ordinarily a tertiary health institution and that being so, it should deal more with referral cases. In the face of the virtual collapse of the primary and secondary health institutions in our state, it becomes crystal clear that this new building is a drop in the ocean as it cannot possibly cater for all manners of patients that from across Edo state. For the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever, it is a conscious misplacement of priority by this government, either by the utilitarian value or location, to deploy the tax payers money to put up this building that is not in any way relevant to the health demands of our people just to satisfy the governor’s schizophrenic appetite for cheap propaganda! BUILDING WITHOUT POLICY DIRECTION:
I dare say that this is yet another project spewed out of the whims and caprices of Governor Oshiomhole to score cheap accolades and not necessarily for the provision of qualitative health care services to Edo State people. Projects initiative and execution or governance style not driven by clear-cut or coherent economic or socio-political policy vis- a -vis ideological thrust but so much for razzmatazz is an unaffordable luxury at this point in the life of our state. Only rogue governments operates in an adhoc, whimsical and unsustainable manner as if to suggest that the state would not outlive the regime. I challenge Oshiomhole to publish his government’s health policy that necessitated this new block in the Central Hospital. Oshiomhole said the new building now ranks (Central Hospital) with those in Europe and America but the objective reality would reveal that this building offers nothing more than flamboyance. if Oshiomhole must be taken seriously, then compulsorily now, himself, as the No. 1 (one ) citizen, his family, his aides, and their families must patronize the central hospital. At no other time than now has government officials shown disdain for public facilities or utilities (where it exist); particularly health care services.
They readily enter partainership with high brow foreign health institutions. At a time a certain female commissioner for health delivered her baby oversea. Oshiomole having boasted that he has succeeded in replicating in Edo State what they have been enjoying , at our expense abroad , all medical contract abroad by government officials must stop forthwith. Oshiomhole’s ” five star” hospital would not change this unpatriotic habit because the government itself, is aware that the building is nothing but a cesspool of fraudulent. Otherwise, let them accept my challenge or prove me wrong! I pray fervently that soonest when our virgin first lady conceives of a baby that her husband, the ”Comrade”, registers her for prenatal and antenatal care with the new central hospital in Benin City. HEALTH CARE BEYOND FLAMBOYANCE: I submit with due respect, that affordance and qualitative healthcare is a lot more than high-rise building. it must have the full complement of well-trained and highly motivated personnel. it must take into consideration, equipment, medicine and even more significantly, accessibility. These for me are the problems militating against health care service delivery in Edo State today.
In furtherance of this therefore a well-thought out policy thrust is required to be formulated and executed with religious discipline. The problem militating against health care delivery service today in Edo State is never the absence of building infrastructure. Time there was when mobile clinics were deployed in our state to take medi-care to the door steps of citizens. Many health institutions like the magnificent Stella Obasanjo Women and Children Hospital built by Chief Lucky Igbinedion’s government are neglected, underutilized and under staffed, on account of petty politics. The Urhonigbe General Hospital remains an edifice in its own right but with just one qualified medical Doctor and a nurse, how much can it offer in terms of health care provisions to the people? At a time in the course of my assignments as member of the Edo State of Assembly (EDHA), I stumble on a building sponsored and fully equipped by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Ughoton. I was informed that it ought to be a hospital but the failure by either the state or local government to take responsibility for it maintenance or operation compelled the Community to lease it out to an oil servicing company who turned same into a store or ware house. Many more like these are wasting away across the state.
I hold the well-considered view that the millions of naira squandered to white-wash the Central Hospital would properly have been deployed otherwise to support the training and recruitment of personnel to run existing hospitals; to purchase equipment and medicine; to revive the Edo Pharmaceutical Company; to resuscitate the wasting primary health institutions scattered across the state. QUERY: Has this Government since November, 2008 trained any medical personnel via bursary or scholarship till date? Moving forward, we crave a transparent, realistic and practicable health policy or program that is predictable. Anything short of this is voodoism!
HON. (BARR) OGIERHIAKHI FRIDAY OSAKPAMWAN
is a former member of the House of Assembly, Edo State.