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C'River Gov't Partners UCTH to Boost Health Insurance Scheme, Says Gov Otu

Cross River governor, Senator Bassey Otu, has said the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) will play a key role in his administration's rejiggered health insurance scheme as the primary provider of tertiary referral services in the state.

Governor Otu made this known recently in Calabar while addressing the management team of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, led by its Chief Medical Director, Professor Ikpeme Ikpeme, who was in his office on a courtesy visit.

"We would always try to build partnerships to sustain the tempo of the foundation we are building. We would look at possible areas of collaboration where our people can access healthcare services without incurring financial hardships. We are strengthening our health insurance scheme to ensure that UCTH is effectively utilised in providing tertiary referral services for the benefit of Cross Riverians and residents alike," the governor stated.

The governor pointed out that his administration is doing a lot to strengthen primary health centres (PHCs) and secondary health facilities to cater to the people's basic health needs. At the same time, UCTH handles referrals and more complicated cases.

Otu commended the Ikpeme-led UCTH management for its proactive leadership, where the institution has always risen to the occasion each time an emergency arises.

"I thank you for the services that you deliver to our people. I thank you for holding the forte despite the brain drain plaguing the country due to the departure of critical health personnel for greener pastures abroad," he added.

Hailing the institution for its bravery and skill, which has led to breakthroughs in several health scares that had hitherto taken people overseas for treatment, the governor hoped that in a few years to come, the exploits at UCTH would discourage overseas medical tourism through enhanced service delivery.

Reiterating his administration's commitment to a mutually beneficial partnership between the government and UCTH, Otu tasked the team to begin to prioritise local content in its recruitment processes, as well as other areas of the health institution.

Speaking earlier, UCTH's Chief Medical Director, Prof Ikpeme Ikpeme, congratulated and commended the governor for his impactful first year in office, noting that the masses have indeed felt the impact of his administration in the year under review.

"We thank you for restoring our state to its pride of place. We thank you for what you are doing for the benefit of all Cross Riverians," he stated.

The health professional reassured the state government that UCTH, an 800-bed capacity health facility, remains committed to providing optimum health services to Cross Riverians and Nigerians at large, saying the present management has, in the last five years, worked round the clock to change the face of UCTH for the better.

He informed the governor and other government officials that medical and surgical procedures constantly taking Nigerians abroad for treatment were now effective and efficiently handled at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.

He appealed for state government support to enable the health institution to attend to the health needs of the people more optimally.

Nsa Gill
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor