By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja
Federal Government of Nigeria has approved the upgrade of Federal Medical Center, Lokoja to a full-fledged Teaching Hospital for clinical training of Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery students of Federal University Lokoja (FUL).
Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi, Vice Chancellor of the University disclosed this at a joint press conference between his institution and the FMC on Tuesday in Lokoja.
Akinwumi said that the Federal Government approval for the upgrade and change of status of FMC to Federal Teaching Hospital, Lokoja was conveyed through a letter referenced SGF6/TO/380.
The Vice Chancellor said that it had become a matter of necessity for the university to establish the College of Health Sciences to bridge the yawning gap in the Doctor-to-Patients ratio in the state which ought to be 1-100 patients but the reality was one-to-4,000 (1-4,000) patients in Nigeria.
The scenario in Kogi, according to him, is exacerbated by the refusal of institutions to offer admission to qualified Kogi indigenes seeking to read Medicine and Surgery in existing Universities in the catchment areas.
“There are about 80,000 registered Medical Practitioners on the Register of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) as at May, 2022. Out of this number, about 40,000 Medical Doctors are actively practising in Nigeria.
“By World Health Organization (WHO) standards, one Doctor is to 100 patients, but in Nigeria, it is one Doctor to more than 4,000 Patients. This is grossly inadequate and unacceptable especially in a developing country like Nigeria.
“It is indeed most worrisome in the case of Kogi State. Research conducted in recent time shows that in the next 10 years, Kogi State Medical Centres and Hospitals will experience great inertia of Medical Doctors of Kogi State origin.
“About 98 per cent of students of Kogi State origin that applied for Medicine and Surgery with outstanding performance in JAMB and Post UTME in universities within the catchment areas of Kogi State are vehemently denied admissions to read Medicine and Surgery in those universities”,. Akinwumi said.
He said that it was consequent upon this that the university established the College of Health Sciences following approval of a Special Senate of the University on May 27, 2021 and appointed a Professor of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, Prof. Mike Ozovehe Ogirima as its Provost.
He said that the university was aware of enormity of the cost implications of establishing Medicine and Surgery and appealed to well-meaning individuals to assist the institution through provision of facilities.
Prof. Akinwumi also stated that the MBBS programme successfully admitted its first set of students for 2020/2021 Academic Session in 2022.
He added that the University would, in the next one week, release admission list for the 2022 academic session for the MB’BS programme.
Also speaking, Dr Olatunde Oladeji Alabi, Chief Medical Director of the newly christened Federal Teaching Hospital, Lokoja, said the hospital was well equipped with personnel and equipment to play its new role effectively and efficiently.
Dr Alabi said that hospital had been functioning more as a teaching hospital before the upgrade adding that they had been training specialists in eight different fields of medicine since 2012.
“We had 80 specialists at the FMC, Lokoja and I felt we were underutilized. We organised training in eight different fields of Medicine. We started started producing consultants as if we were preparing for this day.
“We are ready. We have patients for the teaching hospital. Patients are necessary for the training of Medical students”, he said.