Prof. Darlington Obaseki, the Chief Medical Director of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), says the influx of patients with minor cases of ailments constitute a distraction to the Hospital from performing its primary duties.
Obaseki said this on Monday, while briefing the press on activities lined up for the inaugural Founder’s Day celebration, which coincides with the 46th year anniversary of the hospital.
He said: “We have our challenges, but we know what we are supposed to be doing. Specialist health centre like ours is supposed to be doing things like hip replacement surgery, open heart surgery, kidney transplant, stem cell transplant, cancer treatment, etc.
“We are being distracted from our primary duties, which is, spercialist services. Ideally, primary health issues should go to primary health care centres. The majority of the work we do are things like malaria.
“Our doctors here are specialist surgeons, gynaecologists, oncologists, and so on. They are not supposed to be treating ailments like malaria, which, ordinarily, should have been handled at primary health facilities.
The CMD however expressed appreciation to the Edo state government’s recent decision to upgrade all primary health centres in the State, to make them functional, so that they could take the pressure off UBTH.
“That will take the pressure away from us and will enable us to help our people more,” he added.
The CMD also used the occasion to appeal to well-meaning Nigerians to assist the Hospital in giving its best, by contributing to the endowment fund planned to raise money for the hospital.
While noting that public health venture is not profit-oriented, Obaseki disclosed that the non availability of interventional fund has crippled the stem cell centre of the hospital.
“We have done so much, we have produced manpower for this country. We are one of the pillars in the health sector in Nigeria, with so many sectors depending on us to sustain their workforce.
“We are using this opportunity to sensitise the public to contribute to the development of the hospital through our Endowment Fund. We need to expand the range of our investigational and interventional services to modern standards to the extent that it will reverse the current trend of outward medical tourism,” Obaseki said.