By Samuel Adegoke
The Chief Medical Director (CMD), University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Prof. Jesse Otegbayo has disclosed that the teaching hospital requires a minimum of N50 billion to kick-start its the turnaround.
Otegbayo stated this in an interview with reporters during the visit of members of the House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions to the hospital on Wednesday.
He explained that the greatest challenge confronting the premier tertiary health institution in Nigeria is massive infrastructural decay due to old age. UCH was established in 1952. Construction of its infrastructures was completed in 1957, meaning that the facilities are 63 years old.
Otegbayo told the lawmakers that the hospital parades the very best personnel of both medical and health workers in Nigeria, but they do not have enough tools to deliver their best due to poor funding. Consequently, he called for special intervention in funding the hospital ,having realised that routine budgetary allocations can not solve the problem.
Aside physical infrastructures, the CMD said the hospital needed regular upgrade of its working tools in line with technological innovations in medical care so that its workers can maximise their skills in medical care and training.
“We have a lot of infrastructural decay, hence we need special intervention fund. Our status as the first and oldest should be considered so that we can deliver as desired. Turnaround of our infrastructures will also prevent brain drain and medical tourism. We have the personnel who are skilled but the tools to work with are the challenge,” he added.
Agreeing with the suggestion, the chairman of the committee, Hon. Pascal Chigozi, urged the hospital to set up a committee that will work with the House committee on how to get special intervention funds to address the decay.
Chigozi affirmed that the first hospital in Nigeria should maintain its position, noting that the era when foreigners came for medical care at the UCH should return.
All the committee members pledged their willingness to support the hospital in every way possible given its status in Nigeria.