In order to attract medical tourism and boost healthcare delivery, the Senator representing Cross River South, Gershom Bassey, has advised the federal government to adequately fund the Navy Referral Hospital in Calabar and to establish special hospitals in each of the six geopolitical zone of the country.
Bassey, who is the Cross River Caucus Chairman in the National Assembly, argued that it was time to lift the country’s health sector to an international standard just as in order developing nations of the world.
In a chat with reporters in Calabar, Bassey, who has tacitly indicated interest to enter the 2023 governorship race in Cross River, commended the federal government for completing the Navy Referral Hospital but argued making provisions for the funding of the facility in annual budgetary estimates would be worthwhile.
“There should be a minimum of six special and well equipped hospitals in the six geo-political zones of the country and whatever we can do to improve health care in our country is welcomed.
“The time has come for us to lift the country’s health sector to an international standard. If facilities are available and meet international standards, then all leaders, starting with whoever is the sitting President, would lead by example by patronizing such facilities,” he stated
Bassey said with the political will, the Navy Referral Hospital in Calabar could become the equivalent of the Walter Reed Hospital in the United States.
“I am wondering if the Navy hospital is part of the Navy budget or part of the Ministry of Health budget or is being run as a Public Private Partnership (PPP).
“I say so because I have had cause to take people there and from the gate of the hospital to where you have operation, all is fantastic and it is one of the best in Nigeria that I have been to. My question is: are we watching out and providing funding for that hospital because it needs to be supported and funded,” he submitted.