A growing lack of synergy appears to be causing crisis between the Oyo State Government and the management of University College Hospital, Ibadan on how the coronavirus pandemic is being managed in the state.
Findings by Newspeakonline revealed that the relationship between the UCH management and the state government not cordial based on how the state government is disseminating information about the management of the pandemic which conveys the impression that the hospital as the epicentre of the infection in Oyo State.
According to available data obtained from the Nigeria Center for Disease Control(NCDC), the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state stands at 17 as at 7:00 pm on Wednesday. Ten patients have been discharged, one is dead and one transferred to Lagos. The state now has five active cases.
The state government recently announced that 44 percent of the total number of cases in the state occurred at the hospital. But the hospital is not happy with the news as it was seen as capable of damaging its reputation.
The state government collaborated with the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, which is located within the premises of the UCH. Its Virology Laboratory has been transformed to a test centre with funding support from the state government. But the College is under the governance of the University of Ibadan, not UCH.
Newspeakonline gathered that the state and federal government has not supported the hospital in any way in spite of its capacity to confront management of the pandemic given its huge facilities and personnel.
Till date, the hospital has recorded only four cases of the infection. They are the Chief Medical Director, Chairman of the Governing Board, Provost of the College of Medicine and his deputy. On testing positive, they all went into self isolation and received medication until they tested negative two times. The chairman, Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Dr Dayo Williams, who was announced to have tested positive, later tested negative after 24 hours of the first test. It was learnt that the management of the hospital took his sample to Ede, Osun State test centre where the second test was carried out.
Newspeakonline can report authoritatively that UCH is also not happy that the committee engaged its staff unofficially because the hospital has limited its services, leaving most members of staff free. The state government only submitted a letter requesting the staff, which also sought institutional collaboration on April 20. The state government is requesting 92 medical personnel from doctors to pharmacists, nurses and others.
The hospital has huge capacity to deploy against the virus, hence it is expected that the state government would collaborate with it properly to achieve its goal of making the state COVID-19-free. This is expected to add to the collaboration with the college.
The hospital, which set up a four-bed isolation centre, has also handled two cases from the state government, one of which died on Wednesday. The other, who was among the first set of confirmed cases, was transferred to Lagos on personal request.
When a patient died in the hospital on Wednesday, the state government announced it but the hospital management believed that the announcement followed the previous patterns which suggested that UCH is the centre of COVID-19, whereas the patient was said to have been brought to UCH due to alleged poor handling at the state government isolation centre.
A source said both the hospital and the state should have synergized to confront the pandemic since they are working towards the same purpose. The source cited the example of Lagos State which constructed a 60-bed isolation centre at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), within the first two weeks of the pandemic outbreak.
Newspeakonline gathered that the situation may degenerate into a full-blown crisis which may prevent the hospital from embracing the belated collaboration being sought. If this happens, COVID-19 management may hit the rocks in the state.