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The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has declared that henceforth recruitment of staff for teaching hospitals will be done centrally by the Ministry of Health once in a year.
Adewole declared this while responding to a request made by the Chief Medical Director of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) Prof. Etete Peters on Saturday when he visited the hospital.
Peters had told the minister that lack of funds had made it difficult to recruit 141 staff members approved by the Federal Government. He said that lack of funds had prevented the hospital from recruiting staff, in spite of waiver granted to employ staff of various cadres mostly nurses and resident doctors. Peters, who decried the shortage of staff in key specialties, sought the Minister’s permission to recruit consultants in Neurosurgery, Chemical Pathology, Dental Surgery, Endocrinology and Pathology. “The hospital is currently facing dearth of staff following massive retirement of nurses and other staff.
“The challenges facing the hospital range from paucity of funds, inability to complete the ongoing infrastructural projects to the provision of more medical equipment,” the CMD said. He listed uncompleted projects in the hospital to include Radiology Services Block, General Outpatients Block, Laboratory complex, School Block and Theatre Building. Peters also complained that facilities in the 520 bed hospital were over-stretched and as such the hospital needed more funds for expansion projects. Responding, the Minister promised to look into the 2016 budget for the hospital with a view to ensure the completion of the ongoing projects.
Adewole said that he would like to inaugurate the General Outpatients Building within the fiscal year so as to give the hospital enough space for Accident and Emergency Unit. He commended the Akwa Ibom government for announcing the release of N100 million for the completion of the General Outpatients Building out of the N150 million required. The minister commended the CMD for maintaining services in the hospital in the face of lean resources and called for improvement. He said that the 2016 budget was very tight and promised that more things would be achieved for the hospital in 2017 budget. Adewole said that the recruitment of house officers in Teaching Hospitals would be done centrally from the Federal Ministry of Health once in a year.