Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
With many indigent patients undergoing treatments at the University College Hospital (UCH) and groaning to meet their medical demands as a result of paucity of funds, the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) on Monday came to the rescue of 12 of them.
The UCH branch of MDCAN said N400, 000 was distributed to the patients, mostly children who are being held back due to their financial incapabilities in various wards across the medical, surgical and psychological departments of the hospital.
The cash donation which was done in collaboration with the hospital management was part of activities to commemorate the MDCAN Annual General Meeting.
The weeklong AGM was themed, “Team Building in the Health Management and Leadership in Contemporary Nigeria”.
Speaking at a press conference to herald the AGM, MDCAN Chairman, Dr. Victor Makanjuola, explained the collaborative charity effort between its association and the UCH management.
He noted that while the MDCAN presented the cash sum of money to the patients, the UCH management granted waivers on different fees to the patients, including bed and surgical fees.
Makanjuola who was later accompanied by the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, UCH, Dr. Victor Akinmoladun, and other executives of MDCAN to the patients in the different wards, where they are receiving treatment in the hospital, noted the beneficiaries were selected for the gestures after their cases were reviewed.
He said it was discovered that some of the patients still undergoing treatment could not settle their hospital bills, while some others who had completed their treatment were still being held because they could not pay their bills.
He said despite the non-payment of salaries of medical doctors in the last three months, doctors under the aegis of the association were undeterred in engaging in the kind gesture, while continuing in delivering clinical services.
Some of the beneficiaries include a 17-year-old boy, Sanni Akinkunmi Abdullahi in East One Ward, who received N40,000; a year and five months old baby, Afolabi Oluwaseyi; and a 22-year-old woman, Esther Olaoye, who was delivered of a boy through surgery. The patients got varying amounts based on the decision of the association.
Makanjuola said: “I must also bring to the notice of the general public that we, as well as some of our younger colleagues (interns) in UCH have not been paid our allowances and salaries for the past three months. Nevertheless, we have been consistently delivering clinical services.
“This information is important to correct the erroneous belief by the general public that doctors always go on strike for money. The non-payment of salaries has also not prevented us, as an association, from being charitable to the underprivileged.”
Speaking on the theme of the AGM, the chairman said it was chosen in recognition of the unhealthy inter-professional rivalry in the health sector, its attendant negative effects on service delivery and health-related indices.
He added, “there is the need to reverse this ugly trend as a matter of national emergency. We are indeed concerned about the quality of leadership in the health sector and the need to have a team approach to both management and service delivery.
“We recognise that the health sector is not in dearth of very intelligent individuals in all the different professions. However, the frequent inter-professional squabbles may suggest a relative lack of emotional intelligence in these groups of professionals. Emotional intelligence in a leader makes him or her sensitive to the need of others in his or her area of influence.”