A new twist has emerged over the purported concession of General and Specialist Hospitals in Imo state by the Owelle Rochas Okorocha Administration as members of the Imo State House of Assembly have waded into the matter.
The reported handover of the hospitals to a private operator, Lantech Solutions against the body authorized to manage the hospitals, Hospitals Management Board, had elicited public condemnation from a cross section of Imolites.
The recent strike action embarked upon by staffers of one of the affected institutions, the newly christened Imo Teaching Hospital over certain differences may have attracted the attention of the state lawmakers. The swift intervention of members of the Imo State House of Assembly has brought another dimension. Prior to this period, a private medical practitioner in the state and Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr Sylvester Ameachi was in charge and managed the hospital awaiting the coming of the organization that will manage the hospitals for 20 years.
Yesterday, an Ad hoc committee headed by Hon Ikenna Emeh constituted by the House in it’s preliminary report on the closure of Specialist Hospital, Umuguma resolved that the Health System Management Board (HSMB) should re-take the hospitals by securing the assets and liabilities of the hospital from the Interim Management Board set up by Governor Okorocha and headed by Dr SA Amaechi of Christiana Hospitals
The Emeh-led committee also strongly recommended the reinstatement of doctors sacked by the state government for going on strike over unresolved issues.
It also recommended that HSMB should take immediate and urgent steps in resolving all issues that led to the strike and arrange payment of outstanding arrears and salaries of workers.
Imo Trumpeta learnt that the Ad hoc committee, Guild of medical doctors should furnish evidence of compliance with the law by the striking doctors before the striking workers before the commencement of the strike with the next 48 hours.
The recommendation of the committee is coming on the heels of uproar in the health sector of the state as a result of the reported sale of 13 General hospitals in the state and the Specialist Hospital, Umuguma.