The Federal Medical Centre (FMC), in Yenagoa on Sunday pledged to sustain its policy of extending quality tertiary medical services to rural dwellers in Bayelsa at affordable costs.
Dr Denis Alagoa, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, gave the assurance during a free medical mission at Ewoi Community, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
According to him, the hospital conducts periodic free medical services, both at its Yenagoa and Otuoke outreach hospitals, as well as medical missions to rural communities within its neighbouring communities.
Alagoa, who was represented by Dr Anthony Eguvbe, Head of Otuoke Outreach Unit of FMC Yenagoa, said the policy of affordable healthcare for rural people informed the establishment of the Otuoke centre.
“The free medical missions also afford the hospital the opportunity to conduct research into diseases prevalent in the Niger Delta area and enrich its curriculum as a medical training institution,” he said.
He explained that the gesture was both a social obligation as well as an avenue to proffer solutions to ailments, particularly local diseases not often brought to hospitals.
“The cost of rendering medical services at the Otuoke Outreach centre has been deliberately reduced to the barest minimum to ensure that rural dwellers can have access to healthcare at affordable rates,” he said.
Medical experts from the different departments of the hospital rendered a one-day free medical care to the people at the Ewoi Village Hall.
Such specialities covered include, General Medicine, Dentistry, Eye care, Paediatrics, Antenatal amongst others.
NAN reports that about 150 patients received medical attention on the spot, while those with severe cases were referred to the Otuoke Outreach Centre of the hospital.
Also, health experts from Community Health Department of the hospitals took a turn to sensitise the community on the various aspects of health maintenance.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Oweife Angel, commended the hospital management for bringing respite to indigent patients in the area through the humanitarian gesture.
“The medical talks were very impactful because the doctors taught us a lot of things on how to avoid sicknesses by taking care of our health and how to remain healthy by managing our lifestyle.
“We thank the government and appeal that this should be sustained and also extended to other rural communities in Bayelsa,” Angel said.