Bayelsa State government said that it had concluded arrangements to establish a University of Medical Sciences with 500-bed hospital, with Yenagoa serving as its main facility.
Commissioner for information and orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, who disclosed in a statement, explained Governor Henry Seriake Dickson had already forwarded a bill to that effect to the Bayelsa State House of Assembly for the establishment of Bayelsa Medical University.
According to Iworiso-Markson, the university, which will specialise in primary healthcare and tropical medicine, is designed to have multiple campuses, and will train medical professionals and serve as a teaching hospital in the state.
The establishment of the Bayelsa Medical University will bring to five the number of tertiary institutions established by the present administration, which include the University of Africa, Toru-Orua, the Bayelsa State Polytechnic, Aleibiri, the School of Agriculture, Ofoni, and Isaac Jasper Boro College of Education, Sagbama.
The Dickson administration has, however, faced strong criticism over the establishment of the University of Africa with some saying that it was aimed at denying funding for the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, and may ultimately result in its death.
In spite of this and issues about payment of grant instead of salaries, the government has initiated some high profile projects in the maiden state university such as a modern Senate Building and an internal road.
He stated that the university would be affiliated to reputable medical institutions abroad such as the Apollo Medical Hospital in India, among others.
In his words: “A bill for the establishment of the Bayelsa Medical University for the training of medical professionals in the state has been sent to the state House of Assembly for necessary action.
“The university expected to take off in the 500-Bed facility in Yenagoa, is designed to be a multiple campus institution.
“Already, a lot of work has gone into this crucial project. The university is a good way of putting that facility in use.
“The Bayelsa medical facility will have links to top flight institutions abroad such as Apollo Medical Hospital in India and other reputable world class medical institutions abroad.
“The specialised institution will also be a teaching hospital for specialist training in primary healthcare and tropical medicine in the state.”
The commissioner said the university was a masterstroke of the Restoration Government that is purposefully established to address the critical issue of dearth of medical professionals in the state.