Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri has thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his swift response to the request of the state government for the establishment of a Federal Medical University in the state.
He said when established, the university would not only be the first in the south-south geopolitical zone but also improve the health fortunes of the state and the region.
Governor Diri stated this while receiving the Minister of State for Health, Mr Joseph Ekumankama, who was in Yenagoa to inspect facilities at the Bayelsa Medical University (BMU) as well as inaugurate some projects at the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa.
Speaking through his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Governor noted that the infrastructure and other requirements already available at the BMU were good enough to kick-start the Federal Medical University.
Senator Diri stressed that as a state that lays the golden egg, Bayelsa deserves as many Federal institutions as possible to give the people of the state a sense of belonging.
He therefore appealed to the Federal Government to establish a National Eye and Ear Hospital or an orthopedic centre to save the people of the state the cost and stress of seeking medical attention in those areas.
He assured the Federal Ministry of Health and the FMC, Yenagoa, of his administration’s continued collaboration to care for the health needs of the people.
Commenting on the requests for land to expand the proposed site of the Federal Medical University and other demands, Governor Diri promised that the state executive council will look into them with a view to approving them in no distant time.
The Bayelsa Chief Executive also commended the Minister of State for Health for his achievements even though he has been in office for only six months.
He said: “You have made giant strides just about six months into office. We commend you for your handling of the issues so far. We also want to commend Mr. President for the positive response towards establishing the federal medical university in the south south in Bayelsa, it will improve the health fortunes of our state.
“We also want to thank you for the inauguration of projects in the FMC, this is what we need and we will support you. For the team coming to inspect our 300- bed hospital, we believe that you will encourage us.”
He added that:”You have made a few requests which I consider necessary and we have a duty to consider them, the governor will receive all of these and I believe in no distant time he will respond to the ones he can respond to immediately.”
Speaking earlier in Government House, Yenagoa during a courtesy visit on the Governor, the Minister of State for Health. Mr Joseph Ekumankama, explained that the inspection of facilities at the Bayelsa Medical University was part of steps required for the establishment of the proposed Federal Medical University.
He assured that the ministry will work closely with the Bayelsa Government including making all necessary recommendation to help the state realize its dream of hosting the Federal Medical University in the south-south zone.
Ekumankama expressed delight at the level of collaboration between the state government and the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, and called for a sustenace of the existing cordial relationship.
According to him, “While the Federal Ministry of Health commends His Excellency the Miracle Governor for his recent formal request for an upgrade of the Federal Medical Centre Yenagoa to a Teaching Hospital status, I enjoins you to continue with the enviable cooperation between your administration and the Centre.”
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor on Media, Mr Doubara Atasi, added that Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo and Wife of the Governor, Dr Gloria Diri, joined the minister to inaugurate about 20 projects at the FMC.
The projects, which were embarked upon under the leadership of the Chief Medical Director of FMC, Prof. Dennis Allagoa, include the Hospital Entrance Road, a redesigned Accident and Emergency Complex, Health Information Management Complex, and the Senator Diri Modular Theatre.