Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel has lamented the huge amount of state’s funds sunk into the Ibom Specialist Hospital but which was eventually shut down in September, by the consultants, who citied paucity of operational funds. The governor said a review of the hospital’s MoU is in the offing.
At a special state executive council held last night, which the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Cardio Care Medical Services/ Managers of Ibom Specialist Hospital, Dr Yemi Johnson attended, the governor listed the amount the state government has sunk into the hospital since he came into office.
Emmanuel said he released $5 million take-off working capital to the hospital when he assumed office in 2015 and later gave another N250 million, on the request of the managers, in addition to N1 billion paid in the last quarter of 2015, to the hospital equipment suppliers.
“Similarly, the initial payment of N50 million made to the hospital for the treatment of those affected by the collapsed Reigners Bible Church building in 2016 was to further attract another N180 million. During the first quarter of 2017, N300 million was, again, paid to the equipment suppliers, as well as salaries to some consultants in the hospital, all of which were not budgeted for. Most of the consultants were not paid, I discussed with Dr Yemi Johnson who represents Cardio Care Medical Services, I said okay, some of those best consultants that we have, I can pay them out of imprest in my office since they were not appropriated for. I don’t mind, I can surrender the imprest in my office so that those people don’t go. I have the vouchers of those releases on my imprest in my office,” the governor said.
Emmanuel said he had to provide the needed funds in good faith, to ensure that the hospital was running but expressed surprise that when government started reconciling issues, it was discovered that so many things were not working in the hospital.
“Cardio Care Medical Services has not prepared and delivered to the state government a detailed statement of revenues received and expenditures incurred and paid during the calendar year that results from the operation of the property” contrary to the provisions of the MOU.
Governor Emmanuel said he was surprised to read some media reports that the Ibom Specialist Hospital was locked up.
“We must bring everything to bear, to make sure that we get this place to run and run with best practices.”
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong said they agreed to set aside the MoU signed with Cadio Care Medical Services for a new one, after complaints about challenges they faced in managing the hospital.
Dr. Ukpong said he was expecting to discuss in details, a proposed demand for scaling down of activities by the hospital management alongside the price list of different treatments they were handling, but never heard from them again.
Ukpong said he was later informed about withdrawal of services by the hospital managers, which was later confirmed in a September 21 letter routed to his office. He, however, announced that there were investors with interest in the hospital whom he had taken to the facility for assessment but could not access some rooms that were still being locked by the mangers.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Cardio Care/ Managers of Ibom Specialist Hospital, Dr Yemi Johnson who sat beside the governor, said what happened was not a permanent shutdown.
He did not deny the amount paid so far by governor Emmanuel to his management team, but said they ran into difficulties following crash in oil prices, the economic recession and devaluation of the naira which made the original model difficult to function.
Source: Sun News