By Philip Agbese
Half a year is a short time to make assessment of achievement in office but for Dr Peteru Inunduh, Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Federal Medical Centre Makurdi, the six months he has pilot the affairs of the tertiary health facility have been impactful to the extent that an interim assessment is in order. The verdict is a resounding vote of confidence that will lead one to declare that the reward for hard work is more hard work. Dr Inunduh must thus be empowered to do more for the medical centre in view of its geo-significance and also in view of the giant
strides taken by the CMD within the short time he has been in office.
Perhaps, the greatest of the changes he has brought to the Federal Medical Center Makurdi is the level of sanity restored in terms of peaceful working relationship between the management and the workers thus ending the frequent and prolonged industrial actions at the centre. The place was one of the health facilities that were often shut down for prolonged periods as management and staff haggled over working conditions. These previous labour disputes had often left patients in untold pains and their relations in anguish as they were unable to get desperately needed care.
Federal-Medical-Centre-Makurdi-660x330Dr Inunduh acted in recognition of the need to keep the Federal Medical Center Makurdi opened at all times because it is a health facility that has the responsibility to save life and provide care. The importance of keeping the Federal Medical Centre open at all times is best appreciated against the backdrop that Benue state is increasingly paying host to victims of flooding, the wounded from farmer-herders clashes and communal crises from within the state and from neighbouring Plateau and Nasarawa states. These patients present with complications that only the centre can handle.
A direct result of this is that the facilities of the medical center are already being over stretched. Considering the importance of keeping quality tertiary care available to those who need it, it is imperative that the federal government steps in to give Dr Inunduh’s administration a boost. A prompt review of the budget for the place is quite necessary. This will enable it acquire the needed consumables, upgrade of equipment and recruitment of more staff with the necessary incentives. The challenge of expanding infrastructure to cope with growing demand is thus addressed at the same time with increasing staff competence.
This is not discounting the reality that the hospital has world class equipments that were recently procured by the past administration of Dr. Matthias Oyigeya. In the same vein, let it be a task for the present administration to soar higher. It can build on the existing excellence at the centre and market it as a model for other federal government health facilities and meet world class standard within the shortest time. A further improved FMC Makurdi also becomes a model for the governments in Benue and neighbouring states.
Dr Inunduh’s transparent dealings with public funds in the past shows that he can be trusted to judiciously apply any additional resources released by the government for the intended purpose to improve on the quality and capacity of the health facility. In fact, he is one man that President Muhammadu Buhari can trust with more funds to discharge on his executive functions vis-a-viz health care services to people in and around Benue State.
Incidentally, the CMD is someone who had been appealing for increased funding for the medical center right from when he was its helmsman in acting capacity. This clearly confirms that he has the vision about what could be achieved when more resources are made available to the hospital. From what he had previously articulated, more funding means the Federal Medical Center Makurdi is able to step up efforts in funding the hospital to enable it complete ongoing projects and to enable it deliver quality health care to the people of Benue and its environs.
This is thus the time for the Federal Government to act. It will not just help improve the Federal Medical Center Makurdi but will also improve the quality of lives of Nigerians within its area of coverage and consequently yield a population that is healthy to make meaningful contributions to the economy and national growth.
Agbese, a public affairs commentator made this contribution from the United Kingdom.