By Vincent Ujumadu
THE Chief Medical Director, CMD, of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Awka, Dr. Joe Akabuike has reacted to criticisms that he was involved in actions that were inimical to the growth of the institution, insisting that his tenure had rather brought unprecedented development in the hospital and its medical school.
A section of staff in the hospital had accused Akabuike of not moving the hospital forward in terms of policies bordering on academic growth, drug purchase and feeding of patients.
But the CMD said there numerous tangible things to show that the hospital is growing, adding that the hospital received full accreditation from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, for the training of doctors during his tenure.
According to him, the previous accreditation given to the hospital expired in February, noting that to ensure that the medical students graduate at a record time, his administration provided everything needed to get full accreditation.
He said in addition, the institution has also achieved successful accreditations in four specialist departments, while the School of Nursing has been upgraded to the College of Nursing.
He further explained that the management of the hospital has secured 100% CONMESS for all doctors working in the hospital from the previous level of 70% since 2019, adding that the payment was calculated based on National Salary and Wages Commission as approved by the government.
Akabuike added: “I am not the problem of the teaching hospital, but the reforms being introduced have triggered agitations. The CMD does not determine the salary of workers.
“I started a process of visible and palpable reforms in the teaching hospital in a bid to make it a teaching hospital of our time. Within one year in office, we were able to reposition the health institution to live up to its expectations.
“However, a lot is still required to meet up with our goals. We have improved the entire outlook of the hospital, commissioned new complexes, introduced SERVICOM, for effective service delivery to patients and accredited various departments.
“The increasing cost of managing the hospital, drugs and other goods due to over 200% rise in cost and the increasing difficulty of patients to pay for goods and services, has remained a great challenge.
“We had to engage NGO’s and philanthropist individuals who have continually helped us to offset the bills of indigent patients.
“The teaching hospital has a governing board, which directs the affairs of the hospital while, the Chief Medical Director and other members of the management team oversee the day- to -day running of the hospital.
“Within my one year in office there has been harmonious relationship with the board members, the management team, and the entire hospital community, which could be seen in the numerous achievements recorded.
“Those who make the process of change impossible make the process of war inevitable. The truth which will set people free are by far the truth which they are not prepared to hear.
“I will not entirely say that I am surprised because it is the player who carries the ball that is usually tackled”.