Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said the failure of private medical practitioners to service their loans have made it impossible for the state government to start the second phase of the N500 million Private Hospitals Loan Scheme.
Wike regretted that the N500 million private hospitals loan introduced by his administration recorded a 90 percent repayment failure rate on the part of the private hospital proprietors.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the Nigerian Optometric Association, Rivers state branch, Wike said the action of the private hospital proprietors negate the spirit of the revolving loan scheme.
He said: “We gave out loans worth N500 million to private hospital proprietors. Out of the number of those who received the loans, majority of them have refused to pay back.
“The first batch is not responding in loan repayments, making it difficult to commence the second phase of the programme. There is a 90 percent failure in loan repayments in the first phase.”
The governor said the poor governance style of public hospital operators has made it imperative for the state government to seek a quality management model for the Mother and Child Hospital, nearing completion.
He said public hospitals in the state did not remit funds to the coffers of the state government, even though the state government pays the salaries of all health workers.
He, particularly, said the management of the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital does not remit generated funds to the state government.
“We have spent $8 million to re-equip Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital, and we are setting a dedicated electricity line for the hospital, to improve power supply to the health facility,” he said.
On 2019, Wike urged Nigerians to work towards enthroning a credible government which would protect the people and develop the economy.
He assured members of the optometric association that his administration will continue to work with them to improve the sight of the people.
Earlier, state Chairman of the association, Dr. Lucky Kina, pleaded with the governor to support the association to organise its charity project, tagged: “My sight, my right” for children. He said the project is a corporate social responsibility to fight vision impairment in children.
“The programme will promote cost effective spectacles and drugs to children in need,” he said.
Kina commended Wike for his outstanding developmental strides in all sectors.
He said the governor deserves all the accolades he is getting.