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Gov Obaseki Launches Edo Emergency Medical Services, Reiterates Commitment to Building, Delivering World Class Healthcare Services to Citizens, Residents

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By Godspower Eguasa

As part of the developmental strides of the Governor Godwin Obaseki administration in revamping the health sector of the state, delivering quality and affordable healthcare services to citizens and residents, the Governor on Tuesday March 5, 2024, launched the Edo State Emergency Medical Services (EMS), to respond to emergency healthcare needs of citizens and residents of the state.

While delivering his remarks at the commissioning ceremony, held at the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA), in Benin City, Obaseki expressed delight at the pace of development in the health sector of the state, noting the state’s readiness to continuously collaborate with investors and partners to drive development in the sector.

Obaseki said: “I believe my assignment this morning is very simple; to come and launch this, which in my view, is one of the most innovative services that have been launched in healthcare in Nigeria.

“People will say, no, this is not the first time that a government or a group will put ambulances on the road with the view of providing emergency services to citizens. Yes, we have had several of such initiatives, but they have not been sustained.

“This emergency response has been provided under the service. It is integrated and very well thought out. Emergency response is just not a group in a fleet of ambulances. Emergency response is about a system that calls up health experts across a network and puts them on alert, such that if there is an emergency, somebody who has been trained, who has the knowledge, will be 10 minutes away from you with the services to provide support and care, and will be able to move you safely to the nearest point for care delivery.

“It is an integrated system. If you do not have a network of responders, the type we have assembled today, carefully selecting people across the network you are trying to create, giving them the required training on an ongoing basis and support; if you do not have the communication devices, and you do not have a control center where calls come in and each step of the activity is monitored; if you do not have a system that pays for these services on a sustained basis, it just will not work. That is why in Nigeria we have not been able to sustain emergency response.

“I am glad that we have in this route we have taken, partners who are truly committed to providing emergency services to our people. All the steps that I have been taking in the last one year have convinced me that it is beyond the money, it is about care”.

Obaseki while commending the managerial operations and systems implemented in driving effectiveness in the healthcare sector of the state, described the state’s Health Insurance Scheme as outstanding and exemplary to other insurance schemes in the country.

Obaseki further commended investors and partners for their unwavering support and commitment in helping the state achieve its developmental objectives and goals in the health sector.

According to the Governor, “First, what is important is, we must decentralize healthcare, we must make sure that our primary healthcare system works, and it is that system that has recruited and screened most of the respondents you are seeing here today.

“We also realized that healthcare is very expensive. And that notion that, oh, government alone should provide healthcare services, is one of the reasons why our healthcare system is where it is in Nigeria today.

“That is what drove us to establish the Edo Health Insurance scheme. Somebody must pay for healthcare, and everybody must pay for healthcare in one form or the other. I am also very proud that our own state health insurance scheme today is one of the best in Nigeria.

“So, we are back on building and collaborating with other investors to build a network of world-class secondary care facilities. In addition to the ones we already have in this city like the University of Benin Teaching Hospital that has produced medical personnel for the last 50 years in this state.” Obaseki expressed optimism and confidence in the sustainability of Edo-EMS, as all the elements to achieve it are already in place, while appreciating the emergency respondents for volunteering themselves for training, in order to acquire the necessary skills required to provide support.

In her presentation, the Team Lead, Emergency Response Africa, Mrs. Folake Owotumi commended the developmental efforts of Governor Godwin Obaseki in revamping the healthcare sector of the state, noting that it is the right and privilege of every citizen and resident to have access to quality and affordable healthcare services.

She said: “It is our belief that emergency care should be accessed by everybody, not just a few. It is the right of every single citizen of this country. It is also our belief that as Africans, we can create our own models and that is what we are doing right here in Edo State.

“It is a project that is funded by the Fund for Innovation and Development. Fund for Innovation and Development, or FID, is a new and ambitious financing mechanism whose goal is to support innovation in the fight against poverty and inequality.

“It allows innovators like Emergency Response Africa and the Edo State Government to test new ideas, demonstrate what works, and ultimately scale those solutions. We have no doubt that Edo-EMS is one such innovative and impactful solution. The launch of Edo-EMS in Benin City is the first step to transforming emergency services in the state.”

#edofinishingstrong #EdoMustBeClean #InvestinEdo #EdoMEGA

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