Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Friday, reiterated the state government’s commitment to providing quality healthcare delivery for citizens of the state.

Okowa stated this when he received the Branch Officers Committee of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Delta State Chapter, who visited him at Government House, Asaba.

He congratulated the team on their victory at the keenly contested election that brought them into office, stressing that a lot was expected from the NMA in Delta on discipline of members in their place of work.

The governor expressed worry about incessant rifts between doctors and other health workers in government hospitals and urged the NMA to ensure that doctors and other health workers work harmoniously to deliver quality health care for Deltans.

According to him, if somebody is coming to a hospital, the warmth of reception for the patient is even more important than the ambience of the hospital.

He urged heads of government hospitals to take responsibility in ensuring that quality health care delivery was rendered to Deltans.

Okowa explained that when things went wrong it was usually about the head, “so doctors who are heads of these hospitals, must ensure that there is peace among health workers in the state hospitals.

“There are issues about the relationship between doctors and other health workers and I urge the NMA to ensure that government hospitals are run in a peaceful manner.

“The management quality that is advanced by the head will go a long way to ensure that we have functional hospitals.

“The pandemic is affecting the economy of the state especially as our main source of funding is the oil economy. As price drops down so is the quantity of production dropping and so it’s a major problem for the state, hence we have a down scaling of our budgets.

“As long as the COVID-19 pandemic remains and the countries which purchase our oil remain largely affected, the price of crude oil will continue to fall.

“And, if we don’t think as a nation we will one day wake up and the value of our money will become worthless, because the more we continue to borrow, the more we continue to service debts.

“Although we are not out of the woods yet, so there is the need for us to encourage a lot of testing so that we don’t have a second wave of the pandemic as being experienced in Europe and America.

“Our level of commitments to our patients matters a lot and I hope that all doctors, nurses and other health staff will continue to partner with us in ensuring quality health care delivery in the state.

“We need to continue to drive the process of the Contributory Health Insurance for all Deltans so that they will not have to be paying from their pocket each time they go to the hospital.

“We will continue to provide services in line with the health Care Insurance policy and we will continue to develop riverside areas in such a way that they can truly be like the upland so that all parts of the state will feel the impact of governance.”

Okowa thanked doctors and nurses for the great work done during the containment of the pandemic and pledged to look into all the issues presented to him with a view to addressing some of them for the overall good of healthcare delivery in the state.

Earlier, the Delta State Chairman of NMA, Dr Nwose Emmanuel-Ossai, disclosed that the visit was to commend Governor Okowa for his monumental achievements especially in handling the COVID-19 pandemic and also sought ways of partnership in moving the health sector in the state forward.

Dr. Emmanuel-Ossai sought the approval of the governor in payment of allowances to doctors working in riverside areas as well as assistance towards the completion of the NMA Secretariat in the state.

He commended the governor for approving the Residency Training Programme in the state adding that it will boost quality health care delivery in the state.

“We commend Your Excellency and the state government for efforts put in place to combat COVID-19 pandemic Delta. NMA is happy about the response of the state government in the most challenging health issue of our time.

“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed a very huge burden on the finances of the government and we appreciate you for being one of the first states in the country to pay the COVID-19 pandemic allowance to medical workers in Delta.” he stated.