By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
The Cross River State Government has disclosed plans to partner local Medicare investor, Asi Ukpo Medical and Diagnostics, ASMDC in the development of a cancer diagnostic and treatment center as well as the state health insurance scheme tagged ‘Ayadecare’.
The governor, Senator Ben Ayade stated this Saturday in Calabar during the foundation stone laying ceremony of the ASMDC Oncology center by former head of state, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd) where he also rallied support for the Ayadecare law.
“Cross River State has a medical plan. We planned to have three specialist center, a Diabetes and hypertension center, Cancer center, and Eye center.
“You have taken off the burden of one from us and the state government will partner you on it” Ayade said.
Also, he disclose that the state realized about 50 million Naira during the signing ceremony of the Ayadecare law which he said will be used to support the Oncology center so that Cross Riverians will begin to feel the impact soon.
Furthermore, Ayade said that the Hypertension and Diabetes center as well as the Eye center will be located in the central and northern senatorial districts respectively.
In his address before laying the foundation stone, General Abdulsalam commended the continuity in governance and sustainability culture of successive administrations in Cross River State especially for keeping the capital city of Calabar clean.
Abdusalam who said he was proud of the successes of General Anthony Ukpo who owns the center pointed out that: “This changes the health care scene in not only Cross River and Nigeria, but West Africa.”
He regretted a situation where they were over 6 cancer centres in the country which were not functional despite requiring only about 3,500 dollars to maintain them and maintained that: “The oncology center is coming at the right time.”
“The Asi Ukpo Medical Diagnostic Center from design to health service delivery can compare with similar ones across the world” He said.
Earlier, General Ukpo, called on non medical professionals to invest in health care delivery as a service to mankind.
He attributed the failures of private medical facilities in Nigeria to the fact the owners who are medical doctors, fail to see the need to recruit administrators for fear of then running the business to the ground.
Disclosing that people keep asking if he was in the medical corps in the Army, Ukpo said that: “I have decided to invest in healthcare to save lives not to make money.
“Hopefully apart from saving lives, we will also make some money.” He further added that: “Let’s stop building hotels, lets start building hospitals.”
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