GOVERNOR Godswill Akpabio has called on governments at various levels in the country to build first-class specialist hospitals in the country to reduce foreign trips by Nigerians for medical treatment.
Akpabio, who made the call on Sunday during a thanksgiving service for the Prelate Emeritus of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Mbang, who returned from overseas’ medical treatment, said well-equipped hospitals and proper remuneration of medical personnel would reduce foreign trips.
The governor said at Immanuel Methodist Cathedral Church, Itiam Etoi, Uyo: “If we have first-class specialist hospitals in the country, we don’t need to travel overseas for treatment. I think we have qualified medical doctors within and outside the country. So, if we have these first-class hospitals, we are sure to have first-class doctors.
‘’In Akwa Ibom, we have gone further in the medical sector by building a first-class hospital, which is in progress that will take care of treatment of illnesses. Akwa Ibom would not only be a leisure centre but also a medical tourism for medical services. We need more specialist hospitals in this country in order to prolong lives – that is our duty as a government,’’ he remarked.
Akpabio stressed the need for the private sector to collaborate with government in providing efficient medical services to the people to reduce huge overseas’ medical expenses incurred by Nigerians.
He identified greed, vicissitudes of life, impatience and ungodliness as factors contributing to short lifespan among the people, asking them to shun kidnapping, fraud and robbery, among others in a bid to live long. He congratulated Mbang on surviving the ill-health.
Mbang explained that the thanksgiving service was organised to thank God for his successful medical treatment overseas, saying he was happy to be alive to mark his 76 years birthday.
He hinted that it was a Nigerian medical doctor, one of the best hands in Europe who treated him and called on governments in the country to create the right environment to enable these professionals to return home to serve their fatherland.
The Prelate Emeritus thanked God for sparing his life and for using some people including Akpabio to sponsor his overseas medical treatment, using the forum to commend Akpabio’s administration for the infrastructural strides in the state.
The Prelate of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Dr. Ola Makinde, who was represented by the Conference Secretary, Bishop Chibuzor Opoko, said the church was happy to identify with the celebrant because he led the church well during difficult times by bringing about unity among the members.
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