FMC, Owerri in perspective
Posted by News Express | 25 May 2021 | 169 times
•FMC, Owerri Medical Director, Dr Kingsley Achigbu
By EMEKA OGARAKU
The global economic meltdown partly attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic is emasculating developing countries, especially those in the African continent. This ugly development is seriously affecting the funding of the critical sectors, including the health sector.
However, despite lean financial resources available to the Federal Government of Nigeria, she is still doing the needful by providing the most essential needs of the sector viz-a-viz other competing needs. For instance, she ensured that well equipped Molecular Laboratories and Isolation Centers were built in all the federal health institutions in the country, while COVID-19 patients are managed free of charge. She has done well in this regard, even though we have not gotten there yet.
This situation has made Chief Executives to think outside the box on how to effectively deal with the challenge by closing gaps in funding by prudently managing internally generated resources and tighten financial leakages.
Notwithstanding these daunting challenges, the Medical Director of the Federal Medical Center, Owerri, Dr Kingsley Achigbu, and his team have risen to the occasion, transforming this oldest medical facility in Igboland into a near-center of excellence within the three and half years he has been on the saddle. First thing he did was to ensure that the much eluded peace and harmony were restored among the staff, unions and the management. With this, they bought into his vision of transformation and restoration.
Staff welfare is of utmost priority to Dr Achigbu. Towards the end of 2020, those who were due for promotions were promoted. Staff are constantly retrained. Staff who were owed salary as well as some other entitlements – some dating back a few years such as skipping and its arrears, Uniform Allowance for nurses and Shift Duty Allowance for other staff – were either commenced, reinstated or cleared.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Senator Adeleke Mamora, applauded the Medical Director’s ingenuity and hands-on approach to management when he came to inaugurate completed facilities in April this year.
Unarguably, Dr Kingsley Achigbu’s period as the helmsman at the Center has been described as a huge success. Some of the notable facilities completed and inaugurated by the Honorable Minister of State for Health included the Fully equipped Infections Diseases/Isolation Treatment Complex, MRI Building, the New Dialysis Complex, Neurological Ward, 33 KVA power Project and Emergency Paediatric Unit. Others were ICU and Electronic Medical Records. An outreach Center at Njaba was also commissioned, while the foundation laying ceremony of the staff quarters was performed by the Minister too.
Ongoing projects nearing completion are: Specialist Outpatient Clinic Complex, Medical Ward Complex and the Accident and Trauma Center.
The Medical Director knows that attracting these very important projects will no doubt enhance the health care delivery services in the state and its environs. It also shows the premium the President Muhammad Buhari-led administration places on the well being of our people. Indeed, Dr Achigbu and his team have changed the ugly narratives of poor service delivery and refocused the FMC Owerri to play its tripartite function of training, research and rendering health care services to the people of Imo and bordering states.
In conclusion, Medical Directors in the mould of Dr Kingsley Achigbu will do more if the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is made compulsory for every citizen. Pool of funds from such scheme will go a long way in helping the government close budgetary gaps in the health sector.
•Emeka Ogaraku is a Public Affairs Analyst.
Source: News Express
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