The Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, was booed by Doctors, Nurses and other staff of Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba, Delta State for addressing irrelevant issues.
The Minister who was at FMC, Asaba, Friday 24th February 2017, to commission the Accident and Emergency Building and the newly renovated Utility Block of the hospital refused to address the challenges bedevilling the hospital as presented to him by the Medical Director (MD) of the hospital.
Disappointed by the Minister who dived out of the issues on ground and went stories on how Nigeria went into recession and what the President Mohammadu Buhari-led government was doing, the miffed staffers roared to register their displeasure.
The Medical Director (MD) of FMC Asaba, Dr Victor Osiatuma had lamented that incessant strikes, capital subvention, the inability to carry out any capital project or meet outstanding contractual obligations throughout the year.
The MD also identified inability to complete the intensive care unit/renal dialysis/physiotherapy department which contract was awarded in 2011 but now stagnated due to none allocation of funds in the 2015/2016 appropriation bill while the project did not also future in capital project.
According to the FMC boss, the general outpatient otherwise known as the specialists, consultant outpatient building awarded in 2013 is also lying fallow due to none allocation of funds even in 2017 budget for the completion, noting that management were compelled to occupy the building partially due to space constraints.
He also told the minister that the transport system of the hospital is in a very horrible situation, “the hospital has only few vehicles in its fleet which are over 8 years old”.
“As at the moment, the hospital does not have very good and befitting utility vehicles to travel and carry out official duties while the cost of repairing old vehicles is no longer economical”, Osiatuma lamented.
Speaking further, he said, “the hospital is currently been wailed down by the need to provide 24 hours electricity to carry out operations, maintain heavy equipment, provide security and for convenience of patients and staff. This is taking a heavy load on the generating plant not to talk of the high cost of dessel. BEDC is unable to satisfy our demands”.
He revealed that sometimes last year, management approached BEDC to hook the hospital to a dedicated line, “eventually this has been done but it has not solve the problem, sometimes we have about 14 hour supply a day but this come with its own challenges as BEDC as the electricity bills has gone up astronomically.
He continued: “Since November, we now have to pay up to N1 million weekly as BEDC bills and this is telly heavily on the hospital, adding, “there are large areas of the hospital that need to be tarred to ease the transportation of patients, this portion of earth road is always waterlog during the raining season”.
He said the current maternity complex is evidently inadequate for the upsurge of the attendance of pregnant women at clinics and also in obstetrics cases, “there is urgent need to build a new and appropriate obstetrics and gynaecology complex. This project has been a common feature in our project proposal but funds has not been provided for its execution”.
“At our anti-netal clinics we see over a 1000 patients but at the time of delivery, it is disappointing that not more than 200 out of this number are able to deliver here because of the size of our labour ward. We have about 10 delivery beds”.
“Majority of consultants and senior staff of this hospital do not have adequate office accommodation, this situation has hampered productivity and create restiveness amongst staff”.
The minister struggled to tell the staff of the hospital that he has noted their challenges after one of his aides brought him back to the current issues.