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UNTH Director Begs Striking Doctors To Go Back To Work


By Ignatius Okpara

Management of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku/Ozalla, Enugu has appealed to its striking Doctors to call off the industrial action and return to duty.

The management said the call was in the interest of Nigerians, who are dying on daily basis as a result of the absence of doctors from their duty posts.

Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr Christopher Amah, who briefed newsmen weekend in Enugu on the activities of the medical institution, urged the striking Doctors to have a rethink.

It would be recalled that the UNTH Doctors, had been on strike for more than six months over alleged non implementation of certain salary increments and allowances due to them.

The Hospital boss disclosed that the management has reviewed its outsourced services, following the expiration of the five-year contracts in the area of laundry, cleaning and security services in the Hospital.

Amah, said over N120 million previously spent on outsourced services handled by contractors per annum had been saved following the decision to handle the services internally.

He added that the review had also infused competition and efficiency in the system as more than one contractor now handles these services within the Hospital.

Giving a breakdown of the figures, he stated that cleaning services that was contracted out for over N6 million yearly had been reviewed to about N3 million with two contractors engaged for the service, while laundry services had also been reviewed downwards from over N6 million to about N1.5 million.

Amah said the hospital was paying over N8 Million for security services at the old and permanent sites of the hospital contracted to one security firm, but has now added one more security Firm who are now paid a little above N6 million.

He disclosed that cutting of grass within the Hospital premises that was going for about N12 million has been reviewed downward to about N3 million following the donation of weed slashers by a friend of the hospital.

“It is something to be happy about because it will help us develop the hospital further. Some of these services were contracted out for up to five years before we came on board. We waited for the contracts to elapse to be able to look at them again and we are happy to report that the hospital has made some great saves.

“Each month we are making about N10 million from these services against what we were paying previously”, Amah stated.

The Chief Medical Director said the period of the contracts had also been reduced from five to two years, saying it was a way to monitor performance.

He said his desire was to make the Hospital one of the reference centre in the country, regretting however that incessant strikes by resident doctors had affected the activities of the hospital.

The Chief Medical Director, announced that the perennial problem of water scarcity at the permanent site of the hospital had been laid to rest with the success sinking of some motorized boreholes through a modern technology.

Amah added that despite scarcity of funds the management is currently rehabilitating Ward 9 to upgrade it to international status like the National Centre for Cardiothoracic (heart) surgery which has successfully performed over 90 patients.

According to him, the Hospital facilities had been seriously given facelift for improved service delivery adding that the Amenity Ward could be compared with any standard hospital overseas.

He however appealed to those instigating unnecessary doctor’s strikes to have a rethink, stating that his administration had consistently ensured transparency and accountability in all its operations.

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