The Oyo State Coordinator for Greater Oyo State Forum, Mr. Simeon Adeleke on Monday chided the management of the University College Hospital for its Volte-face on the issue of electricity problem at the hospital which was widely reported in April this year but the management denied same, saying it’s blood bank had no issue to warrant patients having problem of blood transfusion.
The group which bemoaned attitude of the management to the issue of proper healthcare services at UCH, regretted that the hospital after denying the obvious and unfortunate loss of avoidable lives at the hospital has now ‘resorted to taking the bull by the horn.’
Rather than engaging the hospital’s management in a needless media war, Adeleke said, “our group is joining the management of the hospital to re-echo the ‘Save Our Soul’ message of the Chief Medical Director of UCH, Prof. Jesse Abiodun Otegbayo entitled: “Request for Special Interventions in Achieving Constant Power Supply to University College Hospital, Ibadan”.
In the letter addressed to the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Otegbayo informed the ministry of the Hospital’s current challenges in maintaining a constant supply of electricity to the Hospital, which he said, is unsustainable.
According to him, “At present, the IBEDC has disconnected the Hospital from the national grid that supplies electricity to the Hospital due to our indebtedness to the organization.
“The Hospital is currently powered by generators with high diesel consumption, which is not sustainable because of the high cost of diesel and maintenance of these generators. In view of this, we are unable to provide 24-hour clinical services to our esteemed patients,” Otegbayo lamented.
After highlighting several botched steps it has taken to energize the hospital, the UCH CMD said, in 2021, that he alongside Dr. Oloruntoba, the then Board Member visited the immediate past Minister of State for Power and Minister of State for Finance, where the Hospital was promised solar power through the rural electrification program that would cover the service areas
(ICU, Theatre, Emergency area, Blood Bank Unit and Wards) in the Hospital, but this has yet to materialize.
“Several meetings were held with the immediate past Managing Director of IBEDC and other staff members of the organization, where various strategies to minimize energy theft and wastage were discussed and recommendations implemented by the Hospital, but the huge electricity bills remain unabated.
“Part of the resolutions reached at the meetings with the IBEDC was to divide the Hospital’s billing into three segments such as the Hospital Service Area, Residential Quarters/Commercial Area, and the College of Medicine. From the professional advice, it was agreed that this could help the Hospital to pay for the service area only and reduce the amount payable on electricity bills drastically.
“However, the cost of implementing this arrangement cannot be borne by the Hospital. Several efforts and appeals have been made ot the Management of the College of Medicine and the University of Ibadan which have some of their Departments situated within the Hospital to pay part of the electricity bill indebtedness to the Hospital Management has not yielded a positive response. In view of the above challenges, it would be appreciated if the Honourable Minister could assist the Hospital in the folowing areas, Sir;
“That the IBEDC be magnanimous to reconnect the Hospital immediately while the negotiation continues and desist from charging the Hospital industrial tariff being social services rendering Hospital.
“That the Ministry of Power expedites the action on the installation of solar inverters in Hospital through the rural electrification program of the Federal Government.
“The payment of the sum of N475,214,569.64 which is the outstanding electricity bill of the Hospital ot IBEDC. The cost of segmentation of the Hospital through special financial intervention.
“This is submitted for your kind consideration in a bid to make the Hospital regain part of its lost glory and tripartite goals of Training, Service, and Research,” Otegbayo added.
The group while calling on the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare to hearken to the UCH’s management call to save the lives of patients at UCH, also appealed to the State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde to also lend a supportive hand in finding lasting solutions to the perennial power outages at UCH.
“This is a special appeal to both the Federal and Oyo State Governments to save the souls of our people because UCH has become something else,” the release stated.