By: Ekeh Shadrack
It is no doubt that for some months now, Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu has been in deep mess arising from both the management and staff. IMSUTH which was built by the Udenwa administration was aimed at saving lives as well as training individuals who are willing to join the medical profession. Unfortunately the situation has turned sour as Imolites are no longer comfortable with the high rate of laxity, incompetence prevalent among the supposed professionals. The Rochas Anayo Okorocha led administration has immensely worked in the health sector with the initiation of the health at your door-step programme which is now implemented at the various local government councils, and driven by this gesture and wonderful performances at the Umuguma hospital, one could ask what the actual problem is with IMSUTH starting from the office of the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Dr. Obi Njoku, and that of the Board Chairman, Dr. Ogbenta. The greatest calamity that has retarded the state teaching hospital Orlu is that it has lost the qualities that make it up as a place where health and life could be rescued or revived. Dr. Njoku who is supposed to cater for the general welfare of IMSUTH as it falls within the ambit of his ministry is being careless and bemused about it, as he has also refused to meet up with the challenges of creating a peaceful, comfortable and work friendly atmosphere for both patients and staff. The IMSUTH which has more than 1,000 staff should be able to cater for themselves, including payment of their workers wage bill, while the state monthly subvention should be used to purchase equipments needed to save lives. Ironically, the reverse is the case as medical doctors now go along canvassing for their personal business. It might interest you to note that 95 percent of the medical doctors at IMSUTH have their private hospitals which they often refer their patients to. What exactly is the Honourable Commissioner for Health doing about this? In other hand, the Board Chairman of IMSUTH, Dr. Ogbenta has displayed total inability to handle the affairs of the hospital. Having seen the dwindling fortune of the hospital, including the non-payment of salaries, a determined and hardworking chairman should be able to meet up to his major responsibilities as well as liaising with the Honourable Commissioner for Health on the way forward, and also to know how best to revive the present situation of the hospital. Also, the unsatisfied nature of the school has become a “no go area” as they lack trained teachers who are capable of offering proper education to the students. My recent visit to the school premises was filled with rows of tears following the appalling nature of both the management and the structure. Already, some parents are pulling their children as the teaching center has nothing to show for the resources they spend. Even my interaction with a technical staff by name, John Okoro says it all: “IMSUTH generally is no more what it used to be. Both the hospital and school has become a dead zone on itself as patients no longer patronize us that much because of incompetence by the medical staff. At that, I have transferred my child to a living world academy because I vowed to give her the best education,” he admitted. I believe that the appointment of the commissioner and that of the management board were never imposed by the governor, as they all joyfully accepted to support the Rescue Mission government as well as making the state better through absolute dedication and commitment in their various duties.