Gov. Okorocha’s unequivocal determination to improve the status of Imo remains indisputable to all right and progressive minded citizens of this great State; his undaunted passion and achievements so far in office, even his pedigree before throwing his hat into politics, are so vivid to all and sundry. Hence, I have no iota of doubt to say “Owelle ndi Igbo jisi ike n’oru”.
After reading the entails of this publication “The 27 New General Hospitals to be completed by mid 2013- Gov. Okorocha” on IMO STATE BLOG, I took a seat and critically analyzed “not how this administration will erect the proposed hospitals; rather, how and where the needed funds to stave these hospitals to international standards emanate, as well as what will become of these hospitals, considering the non-chalant attitude to maintenance, post-Okorocha administration should Tsunami Rochas pulls off this difficult but possible promise?”
There is no apology stating that almost all the nooks and crannies of this nation, Imo State not exonerated, are littered with either yet to be completed government projects or monumental projects abandoned to decay because of our inherent poor maintenance attributes complicated by the broad day light embezzlement with impunity of funds allotted for completion or maintenance of these government owned projects by backdoor politicians and their godfathers. Conversely, Owelle, so far, has proven to be neither a backdoor politician nor a puppet controlled from a mansion located somewhere within or outside the State.
Governor Rochas through his privatization drive has exhibited he is in tune with 21st Century’s master strategy for economic growth and sustainability- Private sector empowerment and involvement in economy, hence, determined to expunge the plague of poor project maintenance at least in our State. Today’s success story of Telecommunication Company in Nigeria and our own Adapalm in Imo since their privatization by the Federal Government and the current Imo State government respectively has affirmed that involvement of the private sector into an economy is “THE BEST” way to stave up an economy, as well as tackle the jinx of nonchalance in project maintenance. I consider privatization as “THE BEST” way because not only does it provide the citizens with ample options, it also promotes competition amongst commodity providers, thereby, forcing them to constantly seek ways to improve either to retain subscribers or to attract new ones.
Keeping this mantra: Private sector empowerment and involvement in economy, in mind, it will never be odd for the Okorocha-led administration to consider transparent privatization of some or most of the proposed General hospitals when completed to adroit personalities preferably companies or individuals with advanced medical know-how. This single act if devoid of political clouds and prejudice will:
Yield huge financial returns to the government both from the sales and tax returns.
Enshrine vigorous competition in health sector in Imo State, hence, giving the citizens options and forcing the various hospitalowners to seek ways to upgrade their institutions in all ramifications.
It will reduce the burden on the government as related to provision and maintenance of healthcare physical structures and other structures needed to sustain these 27 hospitals if they were to remain under the control of the State government.
It will give the government space to formulate regulations that bind the operations of these privately owned hospitals as it relates optimum healthcare provision and other needed operation, hence, enhancing the State’s healthcare provision status.
It will abrogate bureaucracy in operations and nonchalance to project maintenance and of employees’ service delivery that issynonymous with government own institutions.
The benefits of privatizing these hospitals as opposed to retaining them under the control of the State government abounds. Rejection of this idea when it has proven time and time again to be “THE BEST” method in tackling the rot and negligence of government owned investments in our society will definitely be the beginning of the end of Okorocha’s passionate dream to print an indelible legacy in Imo State’s health care sector that is fighting its survival.
WRITTEN BY: Austin Onuoha, RN