Nigerian lawmakers have been urged to amend the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, Act of 2011, to include teaching hospitals and federal medical centres.
Dr. Thomas Agan, the Chief Medical Director of the University of Calabar, UCTH, made the appeal during an interaction with journalists in Calabar city, Cross River State, southern Nigeria.
Dr. Agan said due to the challenges of delivering quality service and research, there was the need for tertiary institutions in the nation to have access to adequate funding.
According to him, “the proponents of TETFUND did not consider it necessary to recognize teaching and federal medical centres as tertiary institutions. A teaching hospital is considered a tertiary health institution and tertiary training institution.”
The CMD, who underscored the importance of research development in ensuring effective healthcare delivery, noted that teaching hospitals do not receive allocation to fund training and research as well as overheads.
“No budgetary appropriation has ever been made for the training and research needs of tertiary hospitals, a situation that has seriously affected quality health care delivery. Our overhead allocation is unable to pay for public power supply and a truck load of diesel, for the generators monthly”, he noted.
He opined that while Federal Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education now have better infrastructure, tertiary health institutions were yet to benefit from the fund as educational facilities.
“Section 3 (1) of the act established the fund for rehabilitation, restoration and consolidation of tertiary education in Nigeria. The teaching hospitals can be called the workshop of the Universities because 80 per cent of all students graduating through medical school of a University must have their training at a tertiary hospital,”stated Agan.
Dr. Agan, who is also the Chairman, Committee of Chief Executives of Tertiary Health Institutions in Nigeria stressed the need for the National Assembly to review and amend the TETFund Act to include tertiary health facilities to address the challenges of effective service delivery.