For 265 graduates of the College of Health Technology College, Harvey Road, Yaba, it was a joyful day on Thursday as Lagos State Governor and Visitor to the school, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) offered them automatic employment while attending the second Convocation of the College.
The Governor who spoke at Harvey Road, Yaba Campus of the school before a gathering of very appreciative students added that the State Government would ensure the completion of the process by going to the State House of Assembly to fund the employment with a supplementary bill.
He explained that the institution is producing graduates in an area where the Lagos economy has compelling needs which is in the Primary Health Care and Primary Health Care Development area.
According to the Governor, the automatic employment of the graduates from the College of Health Technology represents the beginning of a journey and urged them to always bear in mind that medical workers are like God on earth to those who are sick or have been sick at one time or the other, hence must always make the choice to save lives rather than go on strike.
He maintained that medical workers from the highest to the lowest must always ask themselves about whether they can truly go on strike in view of their calling which is one that requires compassion and empathy.
Noting that the work of those in the medical field could be likened to a relationship of absolute trust which comes with a lot of responsibility and expectation, Governor Fashola that when it is about a choice between oneself and human lives, the choice must be for the human life.
“Imagine if those who are meant to defend the country go on strike or if Policemen or fire servicemen decided to embark on a strike. Mind you, God does not go on strike. Those who invented strike did so to save their patients. So it is a weapon available to you not for your own development but for your patients”, he told the graduands.
He stated that the intention of the present administration is to deliver a reliable and robust population to work the economy of Lagos for the greater glory of the citizenry, adding that the new graduates are critical partners in the journey.
According to him, the responsibility to save lives does not start and end with security men, bullets or bullet proof vests but through a robust healthcare system that lies in keeping the citizenry healthy and ensuring that the life expectancy margin is widened.
Towards achieving this, the Governor said the real battle front is in Primary Healthcare and that the battle would be won and lost there, adding that the State health initiative is targeted at preventive healthcare.
He reiterated that government wants to ensure that people do not get sick and that the hospitals are never filled up with sick people adding that the new employees will form the army that would work at the Primary Healthcare centres.
The Governor who also responded to calls for autonomy for the school by a representative of the Students Union Government said the State Government is not interested in the day to day running of the school but would rather intervene only if there is a need to do so.
On calls for the expansion of the structures on the campus, the Governor explained that the present administration has already added two new blocks to the school which is made up of the classroom blocks, laboratories and Information Technology Centre.
According to Fashola, the State Government is reluctant to pull down some of the structures on the campus because they represent part of the history of Lagos and knocking them down would rob the next generation of such historically significant assets.
He also said his administration is keen on modernizing and refurbishing without losing anything because embedded in the Yaba area of the school’s location are a store of history about what could be regarded as the old Medical Centre of Lagos.
Speaking earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr (Mrs) Yewande Adeshina urged the new graduates to always be polite and courteous at all the time to their patients or those they are meant to provide care.
She added that they need to empathize and be ready to care for their patients even before they decide to treat such people and that they should rather regard every person needing medical care attention as their immediate family or loved ones.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Governing Council of the institution, Dr Abiola Tilley- Gyado commended the Governor for his continued support for the institution noting that the institution has produced quality graduates who can hold their own in their different fields of specialization.
The graduating students were admitted into the Higher National Diplomas, National Diplomas and Certificate in various fields of health technology and environmental sciences.
The event was attended by many dignitaries and a large gathering of parents, family members of the graduating students and academic staff of the institution.
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