By Olufemilade Oyinade
Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has called for the collaboration between the private sector and government to develop the country’s health care sector with a view to reducing medical tourism.
The governor equally called for huge investment in the sector to reduce importation of medial consumables into the country, which according to him, would help the country to save its foreign exchange.
Abiodun made the call on Thursday at the official commissioning of the Med-In Pharmaceutical Limited, an intravenous fluid manufacturing company, Sagamu, Ogun State.
He described the establishment of the medical company as another veritable investment in the health sector, noting it would go a long way in reducing importation of medical consumables.
While commending Med-In Pharmaceuticals for expanding its facility from 400 to 4,000 capacity intravenous fluid manufacturing per hour, the governor said his administration would continue to put measures in place to enhance ease of doing business in Ogun.
Abiodun noted further that existing businesses in the state have continued to thrive and new ones are being attracted, to increase the socioeconomic development of the state.
He observed that one of the major indices for a developing economy is the health status of its people, reiterating his administration would continue to initiate necessary policies and programmes towards providing efficient and effective health-care for the people.
“Observation has shown that the major reason why majority of our people travel outside the country for medical tourism is not because we do not have qualified personnel in Nigeria, but because of the medical facilities.
“It then behooves on us, as a government and various stakeholders, to come together and look inwards with the aim of proffering solutions to all these issues.
“I, therefore, call on various private organizations to partner with us in every area of the health sector. We are open to partnership. And you will find us worthy partners”, Abiodun stated.
The governor, however, disclosed that his administration had begun to connect healthcare centres in the state to the broadband internet in order to leverage on the ICT for centralized Health Records Management System.
This, according to him, would help in the development of reliable database on healthcare system and telemedicine, adding “our administration has implemented the restructured Health Insurance Scheme (HIS) to address identified lapses and make it more efficient and affordable”.
In his remarks, the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, noted that the commissioning of the pharmaceutical plant was an opportunity to improve on the demand and supply in the health sector, declaring that the country has to be less vulnerable to market forces.
Represented by the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, Sanwo-Olu also noted that the third wave of the COVID-19 is currently being felt around the globe and enjoined Nigerians to continue to adhere to the pandemic regulations.
Also, the governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, who commended the Awosika Family for the lofty idea, said that the plant was a significant leap for the country, especially in the face of third wave of the COVID-19
In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, commended the investment which he termed as a “bold one” at a time of a global pandemic, noting that the plant was a significant addition to the pharmaceutical asset of Nigeria.
The Minister, who said that the federal government was striving hard like other countries of the world to rebuild the economy of the country, said that the establishment and expansion of the pharmaceutical plant would provide primary and secondary employment for the people.
The Managing Director of the Company, Tola Awosika, thanked Governor Abiodun for the role he played to ensure that the company got another land when it was asked to leave its previous site by the immediate past administration, even while he was yet to become governor.
Awosika explained that the company aside expanding from its production capacity, was also planning to go into intravenous medication.