The Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Prof. Jesse Abiodun Otegbayo, has categorically stated that his major mission is to lift the standards of health care delivery in the hospital.
This, according to him, will help to change the people’s perception of what UCH stands for.
Otegbayo also revealed how inadequate resources and equipment are confronting the teaching hospital, making it not able to attain world class status to take care of emergency cases.
The CMD equally revealed that the hospital has been surviving with assistance from different levels of people in the society, adding that the responsibilities are too much for the Federal Government alone to shoulder.
Prof. Otegbayo made these submissions on Tuesday while featuring on one of Oyo State’s most popular radio shows: “Parrot Xtra Hour on Radio,” aired on Space 90.1FM and anchored by Olayinka Agboola.
He also revealed that the hospital has only 36 beds available at its Accident and Emergency Department.
The CMD disclosed that the hospital currently has about 880 doctors, including consultant, resident and junior doctors.
According to Otegbayo: “There is carrying capacity of what we can do because we belong to the Federal Government.
“There is a limit to number of doctors and nurses we are allowed to employ.
“The Head of Service will tell you the number you can employ and you cannot go beyond that, though we can request for more.
“I will say here that we have ensured that despite the limited space we have at the A&E section, the place is well equipped.
“The good news is that there is an ongoing project there.
“By the time we complete it, we will have more space to accommodate accidents and emergency cases.
“I will say here that Ibadanland alone needs nothing less than six teaching hospitals.
“This and more are part of the reasons why UCH is under unnecessary pressure.”
Otegbayo reiterated his commitment towards restoring the health institution’s old glory, adding that he wants UCH to be recognised as one of the best hospitals in the Commonwealth of nations soon.
He said: “My dream is to see people coming in from Saudi Arabia, Ghana and other countries to seek medical attention in UCH like they used to do in those days.
“Before I entered into office, I took a step backwards and analysed the reasons people no longer regard UCH.
“I wrote it in form of a proposal, which I titled: ‘Shared vision for excellence.’
“Shared vision goes with shared responsibility and everyone has a role to play – health workers, government and patients.
“My intention is to harness the collective effort of these categories of people to improve clinical services so that patients who come to UCH will always have equal attention and feel relieved instead of thinking that it is about man-knows-man.
“These are things I intend to do and leave as legacies.”
The CMD also took time to talk about his experience when he was pronounced as being positive for COVID-19.
Prof. Otegbayo maintained that he only observed instructions given by his doctors during the time.
He said: “I was told by my Doctors that I should isolate myself, so I stayed at home, ate very well, took a lot of water, exercised a lot and took drugs that improved my immune system to fight the virus.
“After four days I was tested negative, tested for the second time and it was still negative.
“God also took control.”
On the issue of the much reported “bad blood” between UCH and the Oyo State Government’s COVID-19 Task Force, Otegbayo announced that all “issues involved have been settled.
“We have come to agree and we are working together now to battle the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“The present situation of things between the state government and the hospital is that we are now working together, including the governor and members of the task force.
“All that happened have been relegated to the past.
“Like I told you earlier, we are working together now.
“Though, no one is perfect, but God has taken control.”
Speaking on the purpose of establishing the University College Hospital, the CMD noted that it was established primarily to train health workers, conduct research and treat the people.
Otegbayo explained that the management of the hospital is doing enough to protect its staff with support from the National Centre for Disease Control, Oyo State Government, private organisations and individuals home and abroad.
He said: “Our officers are on the frontline battling the novel coronavirus.
“They must be protected.
“This, we are doing to the best of our ability.
“We have personal protective gears for them, including boots, nose covers and others.”