Doctors declare State of Emergency at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) over infrastructure decay, management irresponsibility.
The Association of resident Doctors (ARD) University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) has declared a State of Emergency at the hospital due to the acute decay of administration procedures and state of equipment in the hospital.
Arising from an emergency general meeting (EGM) held by the association on Monday 27th March 2017 where issues bothering on patient care staff welfare and infrastructure were discussed, the executive of the association led by their president, Dr. Eustace Oseghale, has declared a state of emergency at the hospital saying that the reality is that patients coming to the hospital cannot be given adequate service.
He said that during the meeting, the ARD congress has noted that after several engagements and pleas the hospital management is yet to ensure adequate patient care and staff welfare.
“The Association intends to bring to the attention of well-meaning Nigerians the unavailability of basic consumables in the hospital, it's of note that surgeons in UBTH have to struggle with the operating tables during surgery and the equipment in the sterilising department are often broken down leaving patients, patient relatives and doctors stranded. The accident and emergency is not left out as doctors nurses and patients are often found searching for materials to provide care with the patients having to go out to source materials most times,” he said.
He enumerated some of the problems associated with the hospital since the administration of the present Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Michael Ibadin, took over the management of the hospital as being very inimical of the oath of service taken by doctors in the profession.
“The call rooms and post graduate library in the hospital are often in darkness and resident doctors on call have to grapple with insects and reptiles in the dark call rooms. Patient care is not the only suffering sector as staff welfare is so bad. The house officers who just completed their house job are been owed several months of salaries despite been over worked as they were grossly short staffed.
“Some UBTH doctors are still been owed June to august 2013 salaries despite several appeals to the management these salaries have dragged for four years. UBTH doctors have been paid percentage of salaries for months and despite several appeals to management there is currently no plan to pay the deficits,’ he said.
He went on to reveal that the number of resident doctors in UBTH has reduced from over 600 in 2012 to approximately a third the number now in 2017 this has its attending negative consequences on patient care as less number of doctors available to provide care and the few hands available are overworked and usually fatigued at work.
“It is quite sad as this is not the situation in most other teaching hospitals in the country as employment of doctors and other health care workers goes on simultaneously with adequate remuneration. Currently UBTH doctors rank very high in the race out of Nigeria to practice in foreign countries for job satisfaction.
The association having discussed these issues of patient care, staff welfare, training and infrastructure with hospital management severally with no solution provided by the hospital management has declared a state of emergency and issued a 21 day ultimatum to the hospital management.” he declared.
He went on to appeal to Nigerians across the country and members of the general public and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the management of UBTH to do the needful to ensure adequate health for the good people of Edo state and Nigeria at large.
Dr. Eustace Oseghale
President, ARD, UBTH
Investigative Journalist, writer, activist and volunteer.