Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Monday swore in Dr. Ahmed Balogun as the new Permanent Secretary in the State’s Health Service Commission saying the appointment was aimed at deepening the commitment of his administration to healthcare in the State.
Dr. Balogun, who was until his appointment the Medical Director of General Hospital, Marina, in Central Lagos, replaced the former Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Rafiat Funmilayo Olatunji, who retired on January 23, this year.
In his remarks after the brief ceremony at the Executive Council Chambers, Governor Fashola said the appointment was in line with the on-going reforms in the State’s healthcare system whereby Government seeks transition from treatment to care for the people.
According to the Governor, the appointee, having developed the reputation to care in his years of service at the General Hospital, would find it easier to spread that kind of culture in the State’s healthcare system.
“What we hope to achieve by his appointment is to deepen our commitment to healthcare and with somebody who has developed the reputation to care in that facility, it will be easier to spread that kind of culture in our healthcare system”, he said adding, “That will be a defining moment for me when those we look after start to say without hesitation and without reservation that they are receiving the best care”.
Commending Dr. Balogun for his excellent performance at his former duty post, Fashola, who said he had been briefed on how the appointee often acted beyond the call of duty at the General Hospital to take special care of patients, declared, “The reputation of the appointee has preceded him and it is a healthy reputation”.
The Governor recalled that Dr. Balogun’s name first came up about two years ago when some permanent secretaries were appointed, adding, however, that Government carried out the exercise then based on the list and recommendations before it.
He, however, said that as vacancies began to emerge in the Health Service Commission for the position of Permanent Secretary, the name also came up again and although he hated to lose such a hardcore professional at the General Hospital, he had to let him go in order to fulfill the higher responsibility of leadership.
Reiterating that Dr. Balogun was appointed on merit, Governor Fashola declared, “People have told me how he has acted beyond the call of duty at the General Hospital and I have listened to his citation on health when he was being presented to us”, adding that when he called for the numerical list of the result of the last examination, the appointee turned out to be the next person in line, both on merit and in performance. “His merit has pushed him to leadership”, he said.
Responding, Dr. Balogun, who was accompanied to the ceremony by his wife Bolalnle and daughter Tomi, thanked the Governor for finding him worthy of such a high public service responsibility pledging to do his level best not to betray the trust reposed on him by such appointment.
The main highlight of the occasion was the administration of the Oaths of Office and of Secrecy by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) at the Ministry of Justice and the ratification of the documents by the Governor.
Present at the occasion also were the Deputy Governor, Hon. (Mrs.) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Chief of Staff, Mr. Lanre Babalola, Secretary to the State Government Dr. (Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye and his Information and Strategy counterpart, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, among other members of the State Executive Council.
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