Governor Hope Uzodimma on Thursday raised concern that if the Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH), Orlu is sick, then the entire health sector of the state is in trouble.
The Governor could not hide his feeling after painstakingly listening to the damning report of the Visitation Panel on Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, which was submitted to him on Thursday at the Sam Mbakwe Executive Council Chambers.
Receiving the report from the Chairman of the Visitation Panel, Prof. Frank Akpuaka, Governor Uzodimma thanked the members for a job well done, noting that the recommendation will help in improving the rot in the health sector.
Governor Uzodimma said: “If IMSUTH is sick, then the entire Health system of Imo State is sick.”
Governor Uzodimma emphasized that all critical sectors of the state are sick, ranging from the Civil Service, power sector and several other sectors, a situation he described as ‘bleeding’. He thanked the Panel for identifying all the critical areas that government needs to look into and assured that the report will be put to good use.
The Governor pointed out that IMSUTH is an institution that is positioned to be self-sustaining and provide effective healthcare services to the entire state and beyond if properly managed, especially in the area of germane drug procurement for Imolites.
The Governor promised to change the ugly narrative in the financial statements of the hospital by making sure that all financial leakages are plugged by streamlining IMSUTH into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) system already in operation by his administration.
Governor Uzodimma however, regretted the non accreditation of the College of Medicine since inception which he attributed to sheer negligence by the past School Administrations and past governments, adding that it will no longer be business as usual for contractors and individuals who take advantage of the administrative lapses in the institution to set back the wheel of progress of the hospital.
Presenting the report, the Chairman of the Visitation Panel, Prof. Frank Akpuaka in an Executive Summary listed a litany of problems besieging the institution to include: poor roads, poor funding, infrastructural decay, inability to retain staff, and loss of accreditation by the National Universities Commission (NUC), which has resulted in non-admission of medical students for the past four years.
Others include low patronage of hospital services, maladministration, and deficiency in management where the CMD works as a Sole Administrator, among others,
The report noted that the Nursing Unit is nothing to write home about, the Works Department leaves much to be desired, the Surgical and Laboratory units are in very bad shape as well as the Intensive Care Units.
Furthermore, the report highlighted the state of the mortuary as being in total dilapidation, while all equipment in the Radiography Unit which include: MRI, CT scan, and the Mammography are all obsolete.
The panel, however, made sweeping recommendations that include computerisation of the Pharmacy Unit, improvement on the Pathology Unit, improved supply of electricity, provision of three more boreholes, resuscitation of the library section to an e-library, completion of the Amphitheatre and most importantly, financial autonomy for the institution.
The Panel also advised on the handover of the satellite centres of the University to the LGAs, where they belong to serve as Primary Healthcare centres since they are not serving the purpose for which they were established.
The Panel canvassed for improved IGR, automation of the Accounts Department as they discovered that the institution maintained 23 Bank accounts, when only 10 are active and advised on the need to further reduce the number of bank accounts to guard against fraud.
The Panel suggested the need to implement Procurement laws, especially as it concerns award of contracts and the need for Staff audit to reduce the level of ghost-worker syndrome, which they feared could have been responsible for bloated wage bill of N148m a month when the school’s IGR is only N15m-N20m per month.
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