UCH oversubscribed, overwhelmed by patients, says CMD

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The University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, says the high number of patients seen daily stifles the hospital’s ability to meet the demand for high quality and optimum healthcare.

Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the foremost tertiary hospital in Nigeria, made the assertion while addressing a news conference to herald the activities to mark his first 100 days in office on Friday in Ibadan.
Otegbayo assumed office as the eighth CMD of the institution on March 1, 2019.

Otegbayo said that the few Primary Health Centres and Secondary Health facilities, including the General Hospitals in many states of the federation placed a heavy burden on the tertiary hospital.

According to the CMD, the uneven distribution of patients seen by UCH is not an effective and sustainable approach for improving healthcare delivery in the country.

“UCH is oversubscribed and overwhelmed.

“Most of the state governments have neglected the secondary tier of healthcare such that these hospitals have no accreditation needed to train even the lowest cadre of doctors, which are the house officers.

“Low confidence in the quality of care provided by primary and secondary healthcare facilities, have pushed patients to seek general outpatient services from tertiary hospitals.

“This has effectively overcrowded the hospital and overburdened our workers.

“We are calling on state governments to strengthen the general hospitals which form the larger part of secondary tier of healthcare delivery,” he said.

Otegbayo said that the burden of healthcare delivery needed to be shifted from tertiary hospitals to primary and secondary healthcare facilities to enable doctors in tertiary hospitals to focus on their specialties with a reduced workload.

He said that this would ensure that tertiary institutions like the UCH, are more responsive to the health needs of the people.

Otegbayo, while highlighting some of the achievements of the hospital since the inception of his administration, said that efforts were underway to open a Cancer Centre in the hospital with the support and funding from the Federal Government.

He said that late presentation of cases by patients contributed to the high morbidity and mortality rate of cancer in the country.

“The 100 days syndrome is a veritable tool for any administration to chart a roadmap as to where the system will lead to.

“I can say with all sense of responsibility that in the last few months, we have broken new grounds and it is our fervent hope that we shall be alive to see these efforts come to fruition.

“In the last 100 days, we have succeeded in procuring a N8 million Gene Expert Machine, Fresineus Renal Dialysis Machine at N10.8 million; supplied Spirometer for medicine laboratory and also secured training in Nuclear Medicine for one of our doctors in South Africa as well paid N9 million for freighting of 300 donated beds from Canada.

“As part of activities to commemorate this day we are also opening a Cash and Carry Pharmacy Centre and also approved welfare loans for our staff,” he said.

Otegbayo promised to work out strategies and policies to minimise unhealthy inter-professional rivalry and incessant strikes in the institution in the interest of patients.

He added that his administration is irreversibly committed to patients comfort and staff welfare

Contributing, Dr Victor Akimoladun, the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, said that the management would pay special attention to the Sepeteri and Okuku medical outposts of the institution, which are also comprehensive hospitals to provide for the healthcare needs of the people in Oke-Ogun.

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