By Nefishetu Yakubu
The Chief Medical Director, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Darlington Obaseki has restated the commitment of the hospital to provide quality health care services to Nigerians.
According to Obaseki, the hospital has recorded tremendous achievements in the last 49 years in its bid to deliver quality health care services to Nigerians.
The CMD spoke on Wednesday in Benin at a news briefing to announce programme of activities lined up for the celebration of UBTH at 50 anniversary scheduled to hold on May 12, 2023 in Benin.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the health facility was built by the former governor of the old Bendel State, Late Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia in 1973.
The theme of the golden jubilee is, “Advancing the Legacy of Quality Healthcare”.
Obaseki said that the hospital was strategically located to serve states in the South South, South East, and even South West, adding that the 300 bedded hospital as at 1973 had increased to 900 bedded facility.
He said that UBTH was the first to set up a neonatal unit in the country, adding that it was also the first to commence Invitro Fertilization (IVF) in Nigeria and still sustaining the service.
“UBTH is the first to have a breakthrough in stem cell transplant for the treatment of sickle cell in west Africa with successful outcomes just to mention a few.
“We have moved the hospital from analogue form of operation to computerised system of operation supported by optics cables.”
According to him, the hospital has expanded its range of specialised services to include minimal access to surgeries such as laparoscopy, laser lithotripsy, transphenoidal and transnasal surgeries.
“We have increased our diagnostic capacity with the purchase of several diagnostic and radio-diagnostic equipment.
“Successive CMD have each contributed in no small measure to these success stories,” he said.
Obaseki, however, called on the state government to integrate indigent patients in its state health insurance scheme.
He said that UBTH had waived about N84 million of medical bills for patients who were unable to pay their medical bills in 2021.
“Our people cannot pay for medical care. In 2021, we gave medical care to the tune of N84 million that was waived.
“Sustainability of our services is impairing because people are not able to pay for services rendered.
“Majority of patients in Benin access services here and our staff are overburden yet people are not paying.
So, there is the need to integrate them, especially indigent patients to be part of the state health insurance scheme so that UBTH will not fold up,” he said.
The CMD also said that plans were ongoing to establish a comprehensive cancer centre in UBTH
He promised to carry out free cancer screening for members of the public as part of activities to celebrate the hospital’s golden anniversary.