FG boosts healthcare with N859m grant to University of Uyo Teaching Hospital

The Federal Government has released N859 million to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital as part of efforts to boost healthcare delivery in the country. The money which came during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic was meant also to equip testing laboratories and other projects in the hospital. Ememabasi Bassey, Chief Medical Director(CMD) of […]

FG boosts healthcare with N859m grant to University of Uyo Teaching Hospital
Teaching Hospital

The Federal Government has released N859 million to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital as part of efforts to boost healthcare delivery in the country.

The money which came during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic was meant also to equip testing laboratories and other projects in the hospital.

Ememabasi Bassey, Chief Medical Director(CMD) of the hospital who made this known in Uyo, the state capital, said the funds have helped to execute key COVID-19 intervention projects and programmes.

“The present federal government has invested more in medical infrastructure than any other in the last couple of decades. For instance, during the pandemic last year, the Federal Government released funds to the management of the hospital Uyo to open a modular testing laboratory and other projects that could help in combating the virus.”

He said the hospital has in place of the 10-bed intensive care unit provided for, an achieved 16-bed Intensive Care Unit fully equipped with laboratory, mobile X-ray and mobile ultrasound scan. “It also has a pediatric/neonatal intensive care unit”.

“The projects provided for include: establishment of molecular laboratory, procurement of personal protective equipment, establishment of isolation centre and establishment of a 10 bedded Intensive Care Unit

“Personal Protective Equipment during the peak of COVID-19 skyrocketed. Before COVID-19, a carton of facemask sold for 25,000, but, at the height of Covid-19, I bought that for about N600,000, we could not even find it.

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“That money was meant to allow us to function. Before COVID-19, we had one molecular laboratory for HIV and hepatitis and we cannot mix. We had a building; we now tried to do an expansion. When the inspection team came, they rejected that, that the molecular laboratory requires a certain flow, so we had to build. As we speak, that centre has been accredited by the National Centre for Disease Control.

The first time they came we had an issue, then they came back for accreditation. We are just waiting for them to come back for activation.

The CMD who was in company with the Hospital’s Head of Works, Ute Abang and other key management staff of the institution, said he was working on completing between six to eight major projects for inauguration before the end of the year.

He assured that due diligence was followed in all contract awards and execution both on the COVID-19 intervention projects and other ongoing projects inherited at various levels of completion.

“Federal government contracts have a procurement process, which you must get right or you go on for it. It has an open bidding process and a contract awarded. For ICU, you must have done a contract on a similar project; must be able to guarantee service and maintenance.

“Almost all the buildings we met on the ground are ongoing. The GOPD, completed and furnished. I make bold to say that there is no government hospital that has a better GOPD in this country than ours.

“We have completed the radio diagnostics (CT Scan) building. The laboratory block which we met at the earthing level, has been completed though it may not be ready for commissioning. The molecular laboratory building has been completed and fully equipped, awaiting commissioning.” He said

The Teaching Hospital which has also transformed its more than 25-year old entrance and has constructed several internal roads said it had to convert its 24- room, four suites private wing amenity ward into an isolation centre, a sacrifice which the CMD said has led to a loss of N5million every month in terms of bed fees.

“The hospital expanded a lot faster than infrastructure, and we are therefore working to meet up. We are currently embarking on a water expansion project. We met the water capacity between 30,000- 40,000; now targeting 200,000, so far we have achieved over 100,000 liters daily.

“The Intensive Care Unit has been commissioned, trying to implement the hospital management information system, an enterprise resource management system. It would cover our collection in terms of revenue, with telemedicine and electronic medical records as some of its components. That has helped us to block leakages and increase our Internally generated revenue.

“We are expecting the Health Minister to visit the hospital before the end of the year to commission not less than 6-8 projects”. he said

Also speaking on recent progress in the Teaching Hospital, the Head of Department, Medical Biology, Agantem Ekuma said the hospital has recorded significant strides in recent months.

“Following the release of COVID-19 intervention funds, we were able to erect a new block and set up a PCR laboratory for Covid-19 testing. That took just about six months.

“NCDC teams have been here twice, and so far the feedback has been positive. We are awaiting final activation. We have so far purchased lots of laboratory equipment within the last one year,” he said.