HEALTH MINISTER Professor Isaac Adewole has bemoaned the poor state of the Accident and Emergency ward of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH describing it as “a sorry sight”.
The ward which was filled and congested was also in total darkness at the time the Minister paid a scheduled visit and a flash light had to be provided to see through before an emergency power generator was switched on so the minster could meet with some of the patients on admission.
Adewole could not hide his displeasure at the congestion which he observed was complicated by the number of indigent patients who were kept back in the ward due to their inability to pay for treatments.
The Minister after going round and speaking with some patients noted, “from what I am seeing here, there was really no need t keep a lot of these patients on the emergency ward.
“Indeed, LUTH should immediately develop a plan of action to ensure no patient brought into the emergency ward should spend more than 24hours unless such a patient remain unstable, but then after 48 hours, must be moved to the in-patient ward for further specialist care”.
According to him, “With what I am seeing here, if there should be an emergency situation in any part of the State now and people were to be rushed down to LUTH, it is obvious there is no preparedness whatsoever to receive such emergency cases because the A&E seems to always be filled and congested giving impression that LUTH is not working or that the medical personnel are always too busy to give proper attention to patients in critical needs”.
He therefore ordered the Head of the Department, Dr Yemi Akinyele to immediately decongest the ward by releasing all the indigent patients who are unable to pay asking the Chief Medical Director, Professor Chris Bode to bear the cost of the poor patients while all stable patients are to immediately be transferred to the in-patient wards.
Adewole further promised to push for the introduction of a social security net in the 2017 budgets which would help take care of indigent patients who are unable to afford cost of emergency treatments but requested all Chief Medical Directors to henceforth borne such costs instead of unnecessarily detaining patients in the ward thereby causing congestion.
The Minister who also went round critical areas of the hospital was also unhappy that nine months after the completion of a Power Plant in the facility, it could still not be put to use.
While commending the hospital management for the initiative to find solution to frequent power outage in the facility, promised to follow up with the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun on the release of funds for the purchase of gas to power the newly constructed power plant.
Chief Project Officer of the CET Power Project, Henshaw Okoroafor lamented that the construction of the power plant which is a Private Public Partnership Initiative (PPPI) commenced on March 15 2015 and was completed in July as scheduled “but LUTH which was supposed to supply the gas to power the plant as part of their own contract has not been able to do so for nine months going because of non-release of funds by the Ministry.
“We are not to be blamed for our inability to switch on the two power plants which can supply uninterrupted 24hour electricity alternatively to the entire premises”, said Okoroafor.
At the IVF centre, the Minister commended the coordinator, Professor Osato Giwa-Osagie for accepting to help set it up nearly thirty years after the institution made history of recording the first IVF baby in West Africa.
He promised that federal government would from the next budget provide some support to all public IVF centres in the country.