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No cultism threat in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital - CMD

Published by Tribune on Wed, 04 Jan 2012

Professor Fadiora Solomon Olufemi, the Chief Medical Director of Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, spoke with Assistant Editor, Adeolu Adeyemo, bearing his mind on contemporary issues in the field of Medicines and proffering solutions.THERE is this concern about the declining standard of education. How does that affect training of medical personnel' These days, we cannot deny the fact that things have changed a lot. In those days when we were students, the population was not as explosive as we have it now. Nowadays, almost all parents want their children to study Medicine and the required personnel are not just available. It is a fact that the problem with the educational standard of Nigeria is systemic and I believe that medical students are no exception. We have lots of students in the medical field to a limited number of lecturers. Some accredited medical schools have had their accreditation withdrawn.In fact, in LAUTECH, admission to the medical school has been suspended for two years to take care of the persisting problems that must be solved to depopulate the school. Medicine is a lucrative profession but where we have limited manpower concerning medical lecturers, some adjustments must just be made to move forward. Most institutions are now beginning to adjust their admission policies.Does brain drain affect the college any way' Brain drain in Nigeria is not strange especially if we take time to consider why these professionals are leaving. In LAUTECH Hospital for instance, we have some departments where the required personnel are not enough. For instance, if you get me a neurologist today, he starts work immediately because we have been in search of one. We need neuron surgeons but we cannot get one. In Medicine, jobs look for people and not people looking for jobs. And we cannot stop people from moving out. People can choose to leave as a result of social insecurity. It is not only for the sake of money that people leave. Go to Saudi Arabia, Canada etc and you see many Nigerian professionals. Some leave probably because of instability of power. No power, no medicine.Statistics has shown that over 60 per cent of the doctors we have in Nigeria are based in Lagos. All said and done, I would admit that brain drain has not only affected LAUTECH Hospital alone but also medical institutions in Nigeria as a whole. But gradually and to be sincere, the government is being sensitive these days. We now have listening administrators who are trying to make sure that those on ground have their demands met. The demands are being met bit by bit and I believe that by the time stakeholders engage in very serious dialogue, the era of brain drain will be a forgotten one.What are your achievements as the CMD so far' I have to thank God for what He has done in LAUTECH Hospital so far. Years back, LAUTECH was in a very serious crisis. We experienced co-ownership tussle but the turbulent wind is being calmed down now. We are now very hopeful that the bright sky is coming up. To the glory of God, LAUTECH has had very giant strides as we have successfully brought it out of the woods. LAUTECH Hospital had been a deserted village but now we thank God life is being restored.We have S.O.P and M.O.P departments fully operational now. To God's glory, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital can now boast of House Officers' Quarters. Today, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital now has an oxygen plant that can conveniently satisfy the whole of the South-West and this is very uncommon. We don't buy oxygen anymore; rather we sell to all the neighbouring hospitals around. We have lots of ultrasound and scanning equipment that are of world class. There is also a building which is under construction which is meant for drug production department. We also have drug producing units. All said and done, we have every cause to thank God for all these developments. LAUTECH was reputed to be one of the best in the country in the not too distant past. Is that still the case'We still remain the best because our products speak volumes wherever you meet them. Even in the medical school, our products stand out and are always excellent. Visit the medical school and you will see that LAUTECH Teaching Hospital medical products always stand out. They are head and shoulders above others.The little crisis we had was what people thought could have affected our standard. No, absolutely no. Things have taken shape and there is no longer disharmony. I want to say it loud and clear that LAUTECH keeps setting the pace and you can see for yourself that we remain at the forefront. In fact, accreditation has been gained for the post-graduate students. This is a big plus.What are the special challenges of the hospital' Like any other institution, I will not be speaking the truth if I say there are no problems and challenges here. We need more befitting buildings that can take care of the existing challenges of the growing populace. We need more laboratory complexes for better performances. The state government has been of very great assistance but we need more of such to take LAUTECH to greater heights. There is also this issue of limited land for expansion.Any institution that is doing well will attract the attention of people and there is the need for expansion. There is also the problem of inadequate electricity supply which disrupts our operations. Though we have inverters and generators and I can say it with absolute assurance and confidence that we have units here where power can never go off in this hospital, that is not to say that regular power supply from the government end will not be by far more economical and less stressful.There is this rumour in town that the college has a backlog of students yet to come to medical school. Is it true' If it is, what is the plan to get out of the problem'I want to say that it is not a rumour but the gospel truth. We are not dancing over this. It is sad but we cannot help it. The institution has risen to the occasion and I can assure you that with our decision not to admit to the institution for the next two years, this problem will be solved. With this development, some have even taken their children out of the country since they can't wait. We are not folding our arms and the problem will be solved soon.How do you think we can put the issue of lecturers going on strike behind us' This is an issue that is often caused by the government itself. Agreement that one cannot implement or actualise should not be made in the first instance. That apart, institutions should by now know that they need to increase and improve on their I.G.R. The government cannot do it alone. Institutions should start thinking of how to internally generate revenue. In our case, we charge less and if we charge less, we have more patients.Doctors will have many patients to attend to and the students have lots to learn. The problem of ASUU is caused by the government. The two parties should go back to the drawing board, dialogue and negotiate. Education should be seen as a major priority.How do you think we can stop parents from sending their children abroad for university education, especially at the undergraduate level'It is very simple. There should be an all-embracing enabling environment that will be near and so close to what we have in advanced countries. Any parent who notices that strikes are incessant will not want his children here, if he is rich. But those who are not rich keep praying to God. Look, if our government can provide social security, provide power, provide adequate manpower, provide infrastructural amenities and ensure that qualitative education bounces back, nobody will want to take his child away.You don't expect a parent who has a child in our university to be happy if that child spends eight years studying a course of four years. But where we have things going on well, there is no need of pulling them out and relocating them abroad. All we need is an enabling environment. Also individuals and corporate organisations should support hospitals by giving out buildings. The government cannot do it alone. Let people learn how to give out to support hospitals. Those that have should give out to support hospitals.What is the latest on the joint ownership of LAUTECH' I know that in line with recent developments, the co-ownership issue still stands and peace has returned. There is no crisis anymore. The students from Osun and Oyo are now very cordial and things are going on very well. The institution is still being co-owned by Osun and Oyo states and the differences have gone into the oblivion. We are experiencing lasting peace and the two governments have settled their differences. If you look round, you see smiles on the faces of people. That tells you that all is well and the hatchet has been buried.Any act of cultism or rape here among medical students'From all indications, you must have noticed that Medicine is not for the mediocre. We have a culture of decency in Medicine and it has been for ages. Medical students are never idle to have time for such criminalities. In Medicine the culture is clear. You don't cheat. You don't fail. If you fail twice you are a goner; that is the culture that can never be compromised. As a medical student, your social activities are restricted because of your very tight, academic programmes. You can't have time for cultism as you will definitely have to marry your books or you leave.What advice do you have for the government, parents, your colleagues, medical students as far as the profession of Medicine is concerned' To the government, I would say it should be more interested in hospitals. Hospitals should not be seen as a profit making venture at all. Hospitals should be brought to the standard level. Hospitals should be made patient-friendly. Just like in our place here, this hospital has what we call patient information feedback forum being coordinated by the Public Relations Department, such innovation is very necessary.To parents, they should stop forcing courses on their wards. Let the children study whatever course they so desire to study. Medicine is not a must for all children. Some may be good at the Arts. Some could be political scientists. It is not a curse not to be a medical doctor.To the medical doctors, they should not see this profession as profit making. When they establish hospitals, they should not be egocentric. They should look for specialists to make the hospital grow.
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