Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu
Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, yesterday said the decision of the Federal Government to merge the former Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abakaliki, Ebonyi State and the state University Teaching Hospital (EBSUTH), was to ensure optimum health care delivery to the people of the state and beyond.
Based on this, he the cautioned of staff of the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (FETHA), Ebonyi State, the hospital that emerged from the merger to eschew dichotomy and work for the overall success of the hospital.
Chukwu, who gave the warning during an unscheduled working visit to two federal health institutions in the state, including FETHA and the National Obstetric Fistula Hospital Abakaliki, last Tuesday, said “There is only FETHA staff; there is nothing like FMC or EBSUTH staff again… FETHA never existed before, it only started existing last year from December 23; so why do I still see people complaining, ‘the EBSUTH people don’t like us, the FMC people don’t like you’ and I ask people do the FETHA people like you? And everybody will keep quiet.
“So for management, what I have been urging them to do, mix them up; draw your seniority list and from that seniority list, decide whatever units and postings you are making… Everybody is now one, its FETHA,” he said.
The minister commended the hospital for her efforts in the area of cancer screening and vaccination of more than 1,000 girls against cancer, describing as impressive the efforts to create a new intensive care unit, and the remodelling of the old paediatric ward.
“There is still so much work to be done and you don’t have all the resources you need but what is important is that whatever resources you have at this time can be used wisely,” the minister advised.
He gave assurance that the various demands of workers concerning welfare and condition of service would always be given prompt attention, but warned that government would not accept unnecessary and unlawful demands intended to distract and cause disharmony among the staff.
Chukwu also urged members of staff to imbibe the proper work ethics and attitudinal change to increase their value addition to the hospital.
Also speaking at the National Obstetric Fistula Hospital, Chukwu expressed happiness over the growth and expansion of facilities at the centre, initially established by the wife of the state Governor, Mrs. Josephine Elechi; but later acquired by the Federal Government for the free treatment of Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) patients.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of FETHA, Dr. Paul Ezeonu, expressed happiness at the minister’s visit, and commended his efforts at establishing EBSUTH, which he said was the third federal teaching hospital in the South-east geo-political zone after University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH, Enugu and Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Anambra State.