Ekiti FMC to bridge healthcare gap, says Oyebanji

Ekiti State governor, Biodun Oyebanji, has said that the upgrade of State Specialist Hospital, Ikole Ekiti to Federal Medical Centre is a crucial step in addressing the healthcare needs of Ikole Ekiti and the state as a whole.

The governor spoke in Ikole Ekiti on Friday during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Ministry of Health and its Ekiti State counterpart for the handover of the SSH, Ikole Ekiti to the Federal Government for conversion to FMC.

Oyebanji said, “The presence of a Federal Tertiary Hospital in Ikole-Ekiti represents hope for patients battling illnesses beyond the capacity of secondary health care, brings comfort for families in distress and increases the possibility of a healthier future for many more citizens within the state”.

While the governor signed on behalf of the state government, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Tunji Alausa, signed on behalf of the Federal Government.

The governor also later in the day commissioned the Abiyamo Esther Maternity Ward (Mother and Child Building), which he built in memory of his mother in the General Hospital, Aramoko Ekiti, where he was given birth to.

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Oyebanji told the gathering at the MOU event comprising government officials, traditional rulers, indigenes and Ekiti people who had gathered to witness the occasion that “through this partnership, we aim to bridge the gaps, ensuring that the people of Ikole Ekiti and its environs receive access to affordable and quality healthcare that they require.”

He said that FMC would bring about the introduction of advanced healthcare services that would address the pressing medical needs of the communities, reducing the distance needed to travel to access quality medical care,

He said, “This accessibility is crucial for emergency cases, chronic illness management and routine health check-ups.

“The FMC would attract skilled healthcare professionals to the region, fostering a better health care environment. This influx would enhance the overall quality of care, leading to better health outcomes and increased life expectancy for the local population.

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“Additionally, the presence of a FMC would serve as a training ground for medical students and health professionals, promoting continuous learning and improvement in medical practices.”

The governor further said, “Economically, the establishment of FMC in Ikole Ekiti would stimulate local economies through job creation and the growth of supporting industries such as pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and housing. Local businesses would benefit from the increased demand for goods and services, leading to economic development and poverty reduction”.

Oyebanji praised President Bola Tinubu for considering Ekiti State among the four states having new FMC as he charged residents and traditional rulers of Ikole Ekiti and its environs to do all things necessary to ensure security of lives and property in the area.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Alausa, said the upgrade of the SSH to FMC in Ikole Ekiti was “part of efforts to ensure our people have access to quality healthcare and ensuring Universal Health Coverage”.

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Alausa described the exercise as not only transfer of assets, but transfer of potentials and hope to the good people of Ekiti State.

The minister told the people that “FMC will bring tertiary medical care to Ekiti State. Priority will be given to Ikole Ekiti and Ekiti State in jobs”.

He said that among the benefits of the FMC would be the establishment of a school of nursing which would be among directives to the Chief Medical Director.

Alausa lauded Tinubu for approving the upgrade which made the FMC possible in Ekiti State.

Ekiti State Commissioner for Health, Dr Oyebanji Filani, who welcomed the governor, minister and guests to the occasion, said the present administration in the state prioritised healthcare delivery and welfare of health and medical workers which had enhanced service delivery.

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