By Eke Ihanyi
The Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra state has inaugurated its first stakeholders’ consultative forum.
Addressing the forum, chief medical director (CMD) of the institution, Professor Anthony Igwegbe, gave an in-depth information about the hospital’s journey so far since its establishment in 1991 from a general hospital to Anambra state hospital and finally upgraded to what it is today with annexes across the state.
Igwegbe said the hospital had done well in so many areas of healthcare delivery despite paucity of funds. Headed that NAUTH could favourably measure with other teaching hospitals across the country. He explained that the vision of the hospital was to deliver and become center of excellence in tertiary health services and to relocate it to its permanent site.
He, however, regretted that, since inception, the hospital had not received adequate funding from the federal government for its capital development and other services.
He said relocation to the hospital’s permanent site, which construction started since 2009, would be accomplished next year, when the access road, electricity and other facilities are ready.
Commenting, chairman, Medical and Advisory Committee of NAUTH, Dr Joseph Ugboaja enumerated the core mandate of the health institution to include clinical services, research and training. He told the forum that the hospital was working hard to change the perception of the hospital and move it forward for better. This, he noted, was the essence of the gathering.
He said the forum was meant to hear from the stakeholders who should tell the management where to improve “and that is the way to go.” He noted that the perception and attitude of some members of the public about NAUTH had changed positively as a result of improved service delivery system occasioned by retraining.
Dr Ugboaja who is also the Director of Clinical Services, Research and Training appealed to the stakeholders to assist the hospital in the area of human capital development. He said the board recently approved N2million to retrain staff of the institution, a measure he noted had yielded positive results. He also said that patients had the right to complain to the hospital management, if the services rendered were not satisfactory to them.
He paid tribute to the CMD who he said had done so much to change the perception of the hospital, adding that money spent on training of the staff had been result-oriented.
The Director of Reform Coordination and Service Improvement/Nodal Officer SERVICOM, federal ministry of health, Abuja, Mrs Victoria Agbo said in her good will message that the forum was designed to create a platform for genuine assessment of how well the hospital had performed and areas where future improvement was needed. “As you are aware, the aim of the stakeholders’ forum is to forge closer collaboration between the staff and hospital management and their client to afford better understanding of the problems confronting it in the area of service delivery and to improve on it,” she said.
The NAUTH SERVICOM Nodal Officer, Mrs M.C.Onwuka identified dedication to duty, empathy, diligence, being at the service of the patient always, among other things, as some of the attributes of NAUTH workers and talked about the need for further improvement. The former CMD of the hospital, Professor Okey Mbonu was chairman on the occasion.