UCTH procures modern equipment and infrastructure

Eme Offiong, Calabar

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The University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), has invested immensely in the procurement of modern equipment and infrastructure in order to provide affordable and quality healthcare services to the people.

The tertiary hospital, which is owned and funded by the Nigerian Government can now boast of a fully operational Intensive Care Unit, Molecular and Research Laboratory, upgraded theatres, a one-stop Infectious Disease and Isolation Centre as well as a 56 apartment two-storey building for incoming House Officers and rehabilitated Radiology Department.

The Chief Medical Director of the UCTH, Professor Ikpeme Asanye Ikpeme made the remark while conducting journalists on a tour of completed and ongoing projects in the hospital.

Ikpeme said, “We are trying to run a patients-friendly system. We run a pack-system, where every basic thing a patient need is in a pack and we encourage them to pay for that pack so that they have all they need in one place and at the same time.

“We are still away from achieving what we really want to do, but we are trying to run a one-stop system. We are also renovating Family Clinic now to make it a one-stop shop for those under the National Health Insurance Scheme,” the CMD said.

Prudent management
According to the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, who conducted journalists round the facility, Professor Ikpeme Asanye Ikpeme, the feat achieved was due to prudent management of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), the Nigerian Government’s COVID-19 Funds and the annual capital grants.

Professor Ikpeme said, “We have managed our IGR prudently and we have been focused on what we needed to do. So, where you have equipment upgrades, where you have infrastructural upgrade they basically come from our IGR.

“The Infectious Disease and Isolation Centre, the ICU and the Molecular Laboratory are all from COVID-19 funds. The Nigerian Government made available COVID-19 funds and we used the funds to get these structures. Also, some of the equipment comes from our annual capital grants,” he said.

The Chief Medical Director expressed appreciation to the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to improved and affordable healthcare, which he noted was in line with the UN’s Universal

Health Coverage.

He further gave a breakdown of the areas the funds received from the government were deployed, noting “thankfully, the Nigerian Government has done well in terms of releasing the budgetary allocation and we have used the funds to buy the equipment we never had.

“We have spent a total of N940 million – 345 million naira for the ICU, more than 400 million for the molecular laboratory and over 100 million naira for Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs and another 100 million naira for isolation centre equipment. So, it was specific and targeted; we had to choose the equipment and structure needed within the amount provided,” Ikpeme explained.

Beyond COVID-19
He assured that the new infrastructure and equipment would serve the people within and outside the country beyond COVID-19, noting “The ICU, for instance, is not COVID-19 specific. What we have done is develop a level 3 ICU, which can take care of any emergency. The isolation centre also serves cases beyond COVID and any case that needs isolation we admit here.

“The centre has 24 power supplies including solar power. The molecular laboratory does the diagnostics for all the viral diseases including new ones. All these facilities are meant to serve beyond COVID; they are to offer people access to affordable healthcare,” Ikpeme stressed.

While disclosing that the hospital had been receiving foreign patients from other the Republics of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, he said the management introduced other innovative measures to cater for the welfare of medical personnel and provide better patient –doctor experience.

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