Plans are underway to look into the process to upgrade the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo, Ondo State, to a Teaching Hospital by the Federal Government.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Health, Amos Magaji, who said the House is looking into the process that will ensure the upgrading of the facilities at FMC, Owo to a teaching hospital.
According to Magaji, who led members of the Committee on an oversight function to FMC, the hospital will serve as a clinical training site for medical students, but said this cannot be done by pronouncement, but through constitutional means.
Magagi while meeting with the management and staff of the hospital led by the Chief Medical Director, Liasu Adeagbo, said converting the centre into a Teaching Hospital will help to attend to the health needs of the people.
Magaji said, “Federal medical centres will not be able to address the health needs of the country, there must be active collaboration with state governments, donor agencies and spirited individuals to ensure that Nigerians are healthy.
“We will look at how Federal Medical Center, Owo can be upgraded into a teaching hospital and see everything that has to be done through a process that cannot be done in one day. We will look at the law and we will also look at the policies.”
The team, however, inspected some facilities in the hospital including the New Accident & Emergency, Research Centre, Isolation ward, Molecular Laboratory, Radiology Department, the General Outpatient building under construction and the Guest House under construction among others
Magaji commended the management of FMC Owo for their diligence in keeping the hospital clean and making good use of the little resources they have, to provide qualitative health services to the people.
He explained that the issues of employment and replacement of workers in the health sector must be taken as an emergency.
“We are going to sit down when we get to Abuja and see how we are going to tackle all these issues that were tabled by the relevant agencies of government and find a way of dealing with human resources for health.
“There is no sector of the economy that this japa syndrome hit like the health sector”
On his part, the CMD said the visit would assist the committee in providing solutions to the challenges facing the hospital.
He added that the visit has also provided adequate information to the committee members on how funds released to the institution have been used.
“They have been able to see what we have done with the money released to the hospital and the working environment. It helps us not to talk much when we go for budget defence.
“They are pleased with the peace in the hospital and our clean environment. They have seen some abandoned projects in the hospital and their intervention”
The CMD pointed out that the hospital is battling with the funding of pauper patients who could not afford medical bills after treatment.
He said “Some of the challenges we have here are common, while some are peculiar. When you talk about the funding of the hospital now, it is critical. Medications are very expensive now and many people cannot pay.
“The government has said that nobody should die because they don’t have money”.