Monday, 26 February, 2024

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Change of guard: Professor Igwegbe’s tenure ends as Dr. Joseph Ugboaja becomes the acting CMD


Professor Anthony Igwegbe handed over the reins of management as the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) to Dr. Joseph Ugboaja, the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), NAUTH.

Dr. Ugboaja, who came on board as probably the youngest CMAC in the university teaching hospitals system, emerges today, January 25, 2021, as the youngest acting CMD.

There is no questioning the capacity of Dr Ugboaja to pilot the affairs of the hospital, according to many senior and junior staff who appeared excited at the prospect of Ugboaja being the new CMD. One of the senior staff who spoke to our reporter said that Ugboaja understands what needs to be done to move the hospital to the next level.

Professor Igwegbe thanked God for the opportunity to serve a two-term tenure as CMD at NAUTH but promised to go back to the classroom. He noted that he accomplished a lot but regretted that money has always been an issue throughout his stay as the CMD.

The acting CMD went on to address the press on his dreams for the teaching hospital. Dr. Ugboaja indicated that he is in a hurry to tackle the myriad problems besieging the hospital. He is “heartened by the fact that the staff across board understood what he stands for when it comes to motivating the workforce”.

Dr. Ugboaja lamented that the teaching hospital is the only one in the country that did not receive a take-off grant, vowing to do something about it. He also promised to move quickly to harness the stakeholders’ enthusiasm within the host community, which is proactive if they understood what the hospital needs. He urged the press to be a partner in that regard.

“In essence, we will ask them to come and partner with us in areas that will bring value to the teaching hospital in collaborative but mutually beneficial to the investors to help make our hospital, a destination center for various specialized needs of the patients”.

The acting CMD maintains that they are in a hurry to provide the necessary infrastructure that would speed up the move to the hospital’s permanent site. “For that to become a reality, we must collaborate with the relevant agencies and stakeholders to provide the needed services,” he intoned.

Dr. Ugboaja noted that the hospital services needs to improve in such a way that it becomes the major drawing point for the patrons of the hospital. He argues that the vision he sketched for the institution would not fly if there are no commensurate requisite services.

The acting CMD said that he is determined to provide robust training opportunities for the staff on content and attitudinal workshop, so that the staff does not only becomes knowledgeable in what needs to be done, “but we will provide supportive supervision by providing them all the necessary skills they will need to succeed” so that a patient who comes to the hospital must feel better when he or she leaves the hospital.

The essence is that upon training the staff, there has to be a commensurate effort to impart what we invest in them. “While our intention is not going to be punitive, we must all improve and grow, but those who are untrainable must move on without the hospital.”

In effect, we must provide incentives and opportunities for the staff to grow through constant appraisals by leveraging on the existing mechanisms to monitor performance. The wearing of name tags must be a must for all employees, the suggestion boxes must be conspicuous in strategic places for the patients to provide instant feedback after their visits to the hospital.

“Nothing of the vision and objectives are achievable if there is no deliberate effort by all the management to be transparent and accountable”. “We must open up the system” the acting CMD, insists.

The members of the press and stakeholders were taken to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) that is being built at an accelerated rate to alleviate the hospital’s need for such an improved unit to help the patients that need such services.

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