By Efa Sunday
The management of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) says it is planning to set up a committee that will ensure efficiency in the discharge of services to patients.
The Chief Medical Director, Dr. Thomas Agan disclosed this while reacting to questions and concerns raised by doctors in the hospital during its one day residency training held Wednesday in Calabar.
He was represented by the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) in charge of clinicals, Dr. Joseph Udosen,
Udosen said the management is working on setting up a “commercialization committee” in every unit to provide the necessary consumables needed to aid the flow of surgical operations, while attending to work needs of the doctors.
Earlier, Dr. Gabriel Ugi, a resident doctor in the department of pathology shared his experience when an unknown man had accosted him in church and belittled the hospital claiming the hospital is not able to carry out ordinary X-ray as well as purchasing consumables such as cotton wool, hand gloves, syringe, and other basic necessities.
CrossRiverWatch had reported that the facility is a shadow of its former status with continuous allegations of sharp practices.
However, Udosen averred that the management is trying its best despite paucity of funds.
He listed some of the successes recorded despite lean resources accruing to the hospital and disclosed that the hospital management is collaborating with the Cross River State government to use some of the general hospitals across the state for posting.
“The management of the hospital has been discussing with the Cross River State Government to use at least three of the general hospitals across the State for rural postings by our resident doctors as required by the postgraduate,” he said, adding that the process was undergoing “final vetting” before it is approved by the Minister of Health.
Udosen who said that the hospital’s residency training has churned out notable names since it started in 1983, also sued for patience over the delay in the payment of sponsorship and training allowances.
“The management is working seriously with the relevant agencies to release the funds as soon as possible,” Udosen said.
Other issues of concern raised by the resident doctors included porous security around the wards, epileptic power supply especially during surgeries, downturn of patients visiting the hospital of recent, high cost of surgical operation, amongst others.
And, the CMAC revealed that the hospital consumes about NGN12.5 million worth of diesel on the average every month, which according to him, “the hospital does not generate in it’s internally generated revenue.”
He explained that the bill from the electricity distribution company is average of NGN4.5 million weekly which he noted that it is a: “Statutory overhead expenses the federal government is supposed to bear, but don’t.”
On the issue of high cost of surgeries, a Deputy CMAC, Dr. Ogbu Ngim said the surgery fee in the hospital is the cheapest in Nigeria when compared to other states.
Furthermore, he posited that in the case where patients complain for lack of funds, they should be made to pay at least half the fee. “The hospital is not a charity organization, and it has expenses to run too,” Ngim said.
Earlier, the President, Association of Resident Doctors, UCTH chapter, Dr. Cohbam Antigha expressed displeasure at the late arrival of majority of his colleagues to the interactive training session.
He also urged them to lay bare, their minds on all issues bothering on the prompt discharge of their duties.
Dr. Ekang Edidiong of the haematology department called on the management of the hospital to beef up the necessary facilities needed to make them function optimally such as Oxygen which is now making the hospital loose patients to the just commissioned Navy hospital in the heart of Calabar.
The residency training is an annual activity and this year’s edition of the training has the theme: “Residency Training Act – A Panacea or Drawback,” with the residents taking turns to appraise the act.
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