Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom has approved the recruitment of 25 additional doctors, consultants and 100 nurses into the state’s public health sector.
He made the disclosure at the launch of newly remodeled and re-equipped Iquita Hospital in Oron Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom on Wednesday.
He decried the sorry state of hospitals when he assumed office as governor, saying the modern facilities in place could easily pass the remodeled hospital for a teaching hospital elsewhere.
He said that Union Medicals in North Carolina, United States, had been contracted to commence training of medical workers to meet the quality healthcare needs of the people of the state by August.
He urged staff and management of the hospital to ensure strict maintenance and security of the facilities.
He said: “This project, just like other projects in the state, was executed by the state government, and once we put up the facility, it would be for everybody.
“There is no political party here, even non Nigerians can use the hospital.”
Emmanuel noted that the state government brought in 36 containers of medical equipment, saying that the state planned to import 50 containers of such equipment “as the remaining 14 containers will be arriving in a short while”.
Dr David Udoumoh, the Chairman of the Hospital Management Board, described the transformation in Iquita hospital as a holistic one.
He said that the hospital, which was one of the three reference hospitals in the state, had been digitalised to take care of the challenges of manual records and physical movement of documents.
Udoumoh expressed optimism that the hospital, established in 1941, would stand the test of time, saying that the medical community in the state was happy with the vision of the governor who reconstructed, remodeled and re-equipped the health facility.
He thanked the contractors for working according to specification, adding that heads of health sector would continue to work with the governor in ensuring that he achieved his vision of revamping hospitals in the state.
The Paramount Ruler of Oron, Offong Odiong Akan, said his people were pleased with the governor for all he was doing to make their lives better.
He said: “I remember when I was in school, I had fracture and was rushed to this hospital in Oron, but there were no facilities and no doctor to treat me at that time.
“I was then taken to the General Hospital in Ituk Mbang, where I was treated. But today, this is a brand new hospital for Oron people and we are happily praying that God will bless you our governor.”
He said the project would remain a monument in honour of Governor Emmanuel.
Senator Akon Eyakenyi, representing Akwa Ibom South, said the governor had written history in gold for Oron people.
Eyakenyi thanked the governor for making Oron his first point of call for project commissioning since his resumption for a second term, less than two months ago.