Damaturu - The Yobe Government on Wednesday said it had declared a state of emergency in the health sector to improve health care delivery and reduce medical tourism outside the state.
The Commissioner for Finance, Kaigama Umar, announced this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Damaturu.
Kaigama, who is supervising the state Ministry of Health, said government had begun structural rehabilitation of hospitals across the state.
He said that government would provide additional equipment and working materials to health institutions across the state.
"We are also employing more doctors and medical staff to boost the manpower in the hospitals.
"Currently, we have 57 doctors, comprising 29 indigenous doctors," he said.
He said government would also provide automatic employment, with good welfare package, to doctors taking appointment in the state.
"The emergency is targeted at improving the health sector because government spends so much on payment of referral cases; just last week, we paid N18 million for cases referred to Kano, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, among others," he said.
The commissioner also said that government spent N20 million monthly to procure free drugs for pregnant women, children and victims of road accidents.
"The free drugs programme has been a success story in Yobe because it has reduced maternal and infant mortality rate in the state," he said.