By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The federal government has reiterated its commitment to improving healthcare delivery which is one of the top priorities of President Buhari Administration.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed stated this in her appreciation speech at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, where Medical Resonance Imaging (MRI) Suite was named in her honour as Hajiya Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed MRI Suite, according to a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi in Abuja on Tuesday,
Stressing the importance of investing in improved healthcare delivery in the country, she said: “That is why in spite of the very tight revenue constraints and the demands of other competing sectors, the health sector has continued to receive increased allocations.”
Ahmed stated that by the event she had seen a new era of cooperation to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and also stressed the need for increased expenditures with the aim of improving healthcare outcomes.
Alluding to the place of the health in national economic plan, Mrs. Ahmed said: “This is why in the administration’s economic blueprint, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), one of the three principal objectives is ‘investing in our people’, adding that in the ERGP, the federal government “commits the country to investing in health in order to meet the international targets set under the United Nation’s (UN’s) SDGs.”
“Improving healthcare is also a commitment from this institution whose aims and objectives have been to give back to the community in particular and the country at large that they have lived in, by offering the best health care that this country would have ever seen,” she said.
Stating further, she also said: “This venture has been initiated based on the necessity to avoid travelling abroad for first class health and medical care. This project is a stepping-stone to a forthcoming greater project of health and medical service in Nigeria”.
In his remarks, Minister of Health, Mr. Ogagie Ehanire, said the project was aimed at enhancing healthcare delivery within the community of the hospital.
The Minister, who was represented by Alhaji Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, Permanaent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, said the project would enhance the quality of service delivery and health care services, especially in the area of radiology and diagnosis.
The Chief Medical Director, Prof. Hamidu A.U, in his welcome speech, said the facility would help to reduce the need for medical trips abroad as the machine is the first of its kind in Nigeria and sub Saharan Africa.
He lauded the effort of the government and particularly the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning for her commitment and support for the project.
The Emir of Zazzau, Amb. Ahmed Bamalli, commended the Board and staff of ABUTH for their hardwork and dedication for seeing to the completion of the project. He praised the federal government for providing resources for the project, adding that the people of Zaria would not have to travel far to conduct MRI scans and test anymore.