By Joy Odigie
Benin – Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo on Thursday swore in Dr Patrick Okundia as the new Commissioner for Health with the mandate to drive full implementation of the State Health Improvement Programme (Edo HIP).The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the swearing-in took place during the weekly state executive council meeting held at the Government House in Benin.
The governor had three months ago dropped some Commissioners and reshuffled his cabinet.Obaseki said the expectations from the commissioner were high, going by his experience and familiarity with the Edo HIP.“We decided to get someone in the system who is familiar with government processes to champion our health policies and our expectations are high.“You have the opportunity to work with us in the formulation of Edo HIP and we have a lot of hope in you that we will make success in our Edo HIP,” he said.
In his response, Okundia pledged commitment to the full implementation of Edo HIP.He said the full implementation of the programme would make the state the healthcare hub in the country.“The health sector in the state has suffered huge neglect with only superficial efforts from previous government.“For the first time, we have a governor who has refused to go the old way in addressing the challenges in health care delivery system in the state, rather preferring holistic solution that will make Edo healthcare sector an enviable one,” he said.
The commissioner said with the permission of the governor, he would introduce a routine medical check up for members of the state executive council.Until his appointment, Okundia was the Chief Medical Director of Stella Obasanjo Hospital.He hails from Uhunmwonde Local Government area of the state.