Ebonyi State Government says it will no longer give special grants to six selected Mission Hospitals in the area to enable it to come up with a realistic public private partnership towards providing the people of the state with affordable health care.
The Commissioner for Health in the State, Dr. Daniel Umezurike stated this in an interview with Radio Nigeria in Abakaliki.
The six Mission Hospitals that have been receiving grants from Ebonyi State Government are Rural Improvement Mission Ikwo, Presbyterian Joint Hospital Uburu and Mile Four Hospital Abakaliki.
Others are Saint Vincent Hospital Ndubia, Sudan United Mission Hospital OnuenyimIzzi and Mater Misrecordea Hospital Afikpo.
Records show that in the last five years, about two billion Naira has been disbursed to the six Hospitals to enable them to complement government’s efforts in providing affordable health care to the people. However, the Commissioner for health, Dr. Umezuruike explained that rather than providing the hospitals with more grants, the state government would be supporting them with basic infrastructure and branded drugs.
“Previously they use to give them fund and whether it was spent nobody knows and the kind of auditing system has not been very good. But what we want to do is, any project to be carried out in mission hospital will be executed as government project for accountability and monitoring“.
Reacting to the development, some residents of the state explained that the move would compound the difficult already being faced by the
“I have benefitted from the system, if you go there to pay for your wife to be discharged after delivery, they will tell you, state government paid so so amount for you, state government has paid N10,000.00 just give us N10,000.00, I quickly paid“
“I have benefitted, any step for government to scrap it will endanger lives of Ebonyi people because many of us can not afford to pay the bill at the hospitals“
Another resident of the state who pleaded anonymity emphasized that reviewing the partnership at a time General Hospitals in the area were being upgraded would worsen the healthcare situation in the area.
“My wife delivered on Saturday , my total bill was N65,000.00. For me bringing it out now is not easy, this is January and things are difficult in the country now“
Investigation by Radio Nigeria however shows that the number of patients unable to afford cost of medication in the state is on the rise with Ebonyi State Government settling the bills of about four hundred of them trapped in various hospitals in the last few months.
BY AMAECHI ODOH