Dr Azubuike Onyebuchi, the Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia said on Thursday that he inherited N500 million debt from the last administration.
Onyebuchi said this during his quarterly town hall meeting with the management and staff members of the hospital, which coincided with his 100 days in office.
He said that the debt burden was gradually being addressed by his administration and appealed to the workers to show understanding with some of his actions that might look unconventional.
“I will be personally involved in some of the measures currently being put in place to get the hospital working and I will withdraw once the system gets working,” he said.
The medical director said that he had embarked on some reforms in the procurement process to ensure transparency in the system.
He also said that an automated revenue collection system was being installed in order to block all the loopholes and enhance the hospital’s internally generated revenue (IGR).
He listed some of the modest achievements he had so far recorded to include the procurement of a mammogram and an Echo machine for adult and paediatric cardiac patients, among others.
He said that he had renovated the ante and postnatal sections of the hospital, formerly called the Onioma and Nkasiobi maternity wards.
He said that the number of medical personnel, including doctors and nurses, was inadequate, adding that he had made a case for more resident doctors.
He promised that a sustainable programme would be put in place for the training and retraining of the health personnel for improved services and relationship with the patients.
“I passionately appeal to you to develop a positive attitude toward the patients. I am begging you because without the patients all of us will be in the labour market,” Onyebuchi said.
He expressed joy that a modern Accident and Emergency Department, with two Intensive Care Units, for the hospital was captured in the 2019 budget.
He hoped that work would begin on the project as soon as the Federal Government released funds for it, adding that a new Physiotherapy complex was also underway.
He said that work on the hospital’s entrance gate would soon commence to give the place a facelift.
He assured the workers that he would introduce inter-departmental competitions that would help to promote better bonding among the different categories of workers.
Onyebuchi promised to address the issue of welfare being raised by the workers at the meeting.
He said that a committee was already tackling the problem that allegedly bedeviled the workers’ cooperative for more than a decade.
He said that Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu’s had promised to build one kilometre road and install street light in the hospital.
He further said that he was reaching out to the National Assembly members from Abia to assist in siting some of their constituency projects at the centre.
(Edited by Sam Oditah)