*commissions Saki Specialist Hospital
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, declared that his administration is presently revolutionising the health sector in Oyo state.
Speaking at the commissioning of the remodelled and renamed Saki Specialist Hospital, thegovernor also announced the revocation of the abandoned Saki Township road contract awarded by the immediate past administration of late Senator Abiola Ajimobi and that the contract would be re awarded to a more competent contractor within the next four weeks.
The governor stressed thatwith the ongoing revolution in the Oyo state health sector, his administration will deliver 351 model primary Health Care Centres at one per electoral Ward in the state before the end of its tenure in 2023, saying, no doubt, his the administration will go into the annals of Oyo State history as the one that turned existing and moribund health infrastructure into state-of-the-art medical facilities.
Emphasizing that “if Oyo state can start with attracting medical tourism from other states within Nigeria, it means that economic activities will significantly improve”, the governor stated that as the government continues to upgrade health facilities in the state in line with its commitment to quality health care delivery, it will also continue to equip and maintain them and also ensure that they have the best personnel.
“It gives me great pleasure to be back here in Saki, less than three months after our last visit to commission this Infectious Disease Centre. This facility will now be named Saki Specialist Hospital. We have invested close to half a billion Naira on this facility. And for equipment alone, we have invested over N250,000,000.” he said.
Governor Makinde recalled how the government had rebuffed efforts to set up isolation centres in stadiums, choosing to upgrade existing medical facilities, a decision which he said has paid off greatly as shown through the success stories with the Infectious Disease Centre, Olodo and now the Saki Specialist Hospital.
“When we started work on the conversion and upgrade of this facility, it was initially intended to be an Observatory, Isolation and Treatment Centre to support our efforts towards fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. But we also had more long-term goals to ensure that it fits into our overall plan to improve the healthcare system in the nooks and crannies of Oyo State.”
The governor added, “when we took over last year, our healthcare system was not in the best shape. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to make the tough decisions to leverage the situation and accelerate our plans to address the dilapidating healthcare infrastructure in Oyo State. We were pressured to create temporary isolation centres in stadiums and other open spaces, but we remained steadfast in our resolve to upgrade existing facilities, because we saw an opportunity even in that state of despair. And this is the result of that decision.”
According to Engineer Makinde, “this infectious disease centre, as well as the one in Olodo, are direct results of our well-thought-out approach”, saying, “when the history of Oyo State is written, it will be on the record that this administration turned the existing infrastructure into state-of-the-art medical facilities.”
“Well, we have a lot of amenities to be proud of. I’ll just mention a few. Here, we have a 10-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with two Gradian State-of-the-Art mechanical ventilators with humidifiers, various accessories and three patient monitors. We also have two CPAP machines with face shields and re-breather bags to deliver maximum oxygen requirements.
“Additionally, we have a 12-bed High Dependency Unit (HDU) with piped oxygen. Other facilities we have here at the Saki Infectious Disease Centre are: Twelve-bed Female General Ward, twenty-bed Male General Ward, an operating theatre and a recovery room
The Okere of Saki, Oba Khalid Olabisi who lauded Governor Makinde for always keeping his promise, said the hospital project is such a huge relief for a community which has never felt the presence of government, saying, “we have never felt the presence of government here let alone having a project like this in Oke-Ogun. Even, the hospitals that you see around were built by individual doctors residing here. We have not seen general hospitals and health centres in Saki before.”
“Our governor amazes us a lot. When he makes a promise, he tries to fulfill it. Actually, there are a lot of work to be done in the Oke-Ogun zone. Before now, we go to Gbengbeleke, Paraku (Benin Republic) to take care of our health but, by the grace of God, the facility here today will take care of infectious diseases that may want to fight us.”