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We are not demolishing Central Hospital to build motor park – Edo govt

The Edo State Government explained that contrary to claims that it was relocating the over 100-year-old Central Hospital in Benin City for a motor park, the hospital is being reorganized for better service to the people.

The state government allayed fears that healthcare may become inaccessible to the poor, adding that it would explore all existing health policies and programmes that take care of the poorest of the poor.

The state Commissioner for Health, Professor (Mrs) Obehi Akoria‎, gave the explanation while speaking to journalists in reaction to the demolition of parts of the Central Hospital which the APC alleged may be turned into a park.

She said with the COVID-19 that has changed global narratives, Stella Obasanjo Hospital which was closed to its normal hospital activities to strictly COVID-19 treatments, was being rebuilt to be restored to its original activities.

“What we are doing is this, Edo State has Edo Health Insurance Commission, Edo State has Edo Health Insurance Scheme with various packages suited to the needs of various people in our heterogeneous population. We have stationed about ten teams right there between Stella Obasanjo and Central Hospital and as patients come, they are accessing the teams because there is something called the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund which is supposed to care for the healthcare needs of the poorest of the poor via insurance and our people are already paying for insurance, the federal government has provided some funding, the state government has its own counterpart funding and there are many mechanisms that are on ground that will take care of the health needs of different strata of the population and for the very poorest of the poor Basic Healthcare Provision Fund ensures that they get a minimum package of healthcare without having to pay anything.

On the relocation of the hospital, she said the hospital is being moved to the Edo Specialist Hospital.

“In recent time, anybody who has been to the Central Hospital will see the state of the structure and infrastructure and service provision so the decision to upgrade healthcare for the citizens meant that there has to be a lateral phased movement of services from Central Hospital to Edo Specialist Hospital. That is where we are right now and we have been managing that to ensure that disruption of services is minimised and that we are available to respond to the obvious challenges that will arise as quickly as possible,” the commissioner added.

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