Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has advised the management of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and other government institutions to support the government funding efforts with innovative thinking.
Speaking on Monday at the hospital’s 60th anniversary lecture in Ibadan, Osinbajo stated that government alone can never fully fund all its institutions.
He showered commendation on the hospital and its staff for the breakthroughs and impacts recorded in the last 60 years but explained that the current funding challenges can only be fully tackled if the institution looks inwards and explore its partnerships and linkages.
He advised UCH to do more engagement with the private sector and philanthropic organizations and individuals in delivering superior healthcare service to Nigerians.
Speaking earlier, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Prof. Temitope Alonge, said the hospital has largely achieved its mandate of training healthcare workers that will serve all over Nigeria and West Africa and also render high quality medical service to patients. He also highlighted some of the breakthroughs of the hospital in the areas of nuclear medicine, heart surgery and geriatric care among others.
He, however, called for improved funding for the institution, stressing that it currently receives only about 25 per cent of what it needs for overhead expenses.
But according to the Vice President, governments all over the world are not fully responsible for the funding of education and healthcare, as they are supported by the creativity and innovation of managers of the institutions in question.
He emphasized the importance of new technologies in delivering improved service in the hospital system.
He said that the infrastructural deficit arising from neglect in past years remains the greatest challenge of government today. He added, however, that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has been spending more than any other administration to address this problem.
He revealed that around N1.3 billion has been budgeted for capital projects in the 2018 budget, the highest in the recent history of the country, even in terms of percentage.
He however admitted that “this amount is still very far from what we actually need to fix infrastructures in Nigeria.. So, we must integrate the private sector.”
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, revealed that the UCH was among four federal hospitals to be renovated with funds from the Sovereign Wealth Fund. He said the Federal Government was determined to ensure the renovation project succeeds.
He also pointed out that a sum of N9 billion was provided for the UCH in the 2018 appropriation, adding that the government has approved the promotion of about 700 members of staff for the 2017 year. He urged them to work harder.