Governorship aspirant in Benue State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Dr Samuel Ortom, has pledged to partner with the church and the organized private sector for better health care delivery in the state.
He made the pledge during separate visits to the Bishop Murray Medical Center, and Ramaha Hospital in Makurdi which he has retained for the treatment of snake bite and hernia patients over the years.
The former Minister of State, Industry, Trade, and Investment said the initiative would lead to the upgrading of facilities at hospitals owned by faith-based organizations and the organized private sector in the state.
He commended the vision of the founders of the Bishop Murray Medical Center, as well as the commitment of the management and staff to the service of God and humanity.
Chief Dr Ortom expressed appreciation to the management of the health institution for keeping faith with the retainership agreement even when his organization, the Oracle Foundation, delays in settling bills.
“At no time have you turned away patients on account of lack of payment, this is a demonstration of the highest show of love, fear of God, and commitment to serving humanity,” he stressed.
“I undertook the treatment of snake bite victims in 2002 when I discovered that most of those affected were poor peasant farmers who couldn’t afford treatment and were therefore dying in large numbers.”
He promised that he would meet all his financial obligations to the hospital even if it meant selling his property.
Chief Dr Ortom expressed the desire to partner with the management in sourcing and procuring anti – snake venom in order to reduce cost of treatment.
In her response, unit head at the center, Rev Sister Monica Umeh, said the management had already conveyed its appreciation to Chief Dr Ortom in a letter it had written to him pointing out that what mattered most was to save lives first even though the hospital had to survive through internally generated revenue.
She pledged to sustain the partnership and disclosed that the Coordinator of the Catholic Integrated Health Services in the Diocese, Rev Fr Peter Kparev was also happy with the former Minister’s initiative.
At Rahama hospital the aspirant commended the the proprietor, Dr Omale Oibiokpa, for also sustaining the retainership of treating hernia patients in spite of delays in settling bills and described him as an experienced and resilient professional committed to offering humanitarian services.
Dr Oibiokpa, in his remarks, said Chief Dr Ortom had saved numerous lives through his philanthropy, employment of hundreds, as well as sponsorship of health care programs saying only God could reward him for the efforts.
The former Minister visited and spoke with some patients in the two hospitals.