Why ABSUTH Lost NUC Accreditation – VC, Commissioner Explains To Abia Assembly | READ DETAILS

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Why ABSUTH Lost NUC Accreditation – VC, Commissioner Explains To Abia Assembly | READ DETAILS

The Abia State House of Assembly on Wednesday, June 22, grilled the state commissioner for health, Dr Joe Osuji over Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH) losing its college of medicine accreditation.

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When asked by the speaker, Rt. Hon. Engr. Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji to explain the reason for the National Universities Commission (NUC) withdrawing accreditation for the College of Medicine, Abia state University (ABSU), Osuji said the NUC came on a supervision tour of the institution and they were conducted round the facility but when they got to the medical school, the gate was under lock and key because the workers were on strike.

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Seeking further clarification, the Speaker inquired from the Commissioner if he was telling the House that the medical school lost their accreditation because the medical school was not opened for the team, Osuji answered in the affirmative.

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Hon Kelechi Onuzuruike, Member representing Umuahia North State Constituency also asked the Commissioner why the workers of Hospital Management Board are owed backlog of salaries and if there was any functional General Hospital in the State, and the way forward.

Dr Osuji told the House that he wasn’t duly informed the day the team came on the visit, he emphasised that the attitude of the workers in various General Hospitals in the state has made the hospitals to perform below expectations.

The Speaker then asked if the Hospital Management Board generates revenue, and if yes, where are the funds channeled to?

The Commissioner said he was not fully aware of the revenue generated by the Board because the constituted Boards of the hospitals made it difficult for his ministry to access their financial activities. He also said in some cases, the institutions remit little or nothing to the state coffers at the end of each month.

The Speaker pointed that the Commissioner committed a huge blunder by allowing money to be spent by the institutions without appropriation under his watch.

Hon Stanley Nwabuisi said the Commissioner should be invited to plenary another day so the House could further drill him appropriately saying that there seems to be a whole lot going on behind the scenes at the Hospital Management Board (HMB).

At this point, the Speaker asked the Vice Chancellor of Abia State University Uturu, Professor Onyebuchi Maxwell Ogbulu to come forward and interact with them.

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The Speaker said by the virtue of the position of the Commissioner for Health, he ought to be in the know the day the team from the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) visited. He asked the VC why the Commissioner was put in the dark about the visit.

Responding, the VC said it was not a practice to invite the Commissioner for Health during the visits of the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC).

But the Speaker argued that the Commissioner is the head of all medical institutions in the State and the eye of the Executive in all health matters. He further said that the Commissioner would have related to his boss, the Governor, to put necessary requirements in place before the team visited and that things could have been more efficiently handled if he was informed.

The VC reiterated that the loss of accreditation was because the gate of the medical school was under lock and key when the team visited due to the strike action embarked upon by the workers even after two -months salaries were released to them.

The Speaker maintained that he was not fully convinced that the team cancelled the accreditation of the medical school just because workers were on strike.

He asked the VC if the accreditation would still have been withdrawn by the NUC if necessary provisions in terms of ensuring that the departments visited were in order but the workers were on strike as of the time of the visit?

The VC said every requirement was put in place prior to the visit of the team. He also said that the Governor even approved the payment of two months salary for the workers.

At that point, Rt Hon Chikwendu Kalu asked the VC to produce the report of the accreditation team where they wrote down the reasons why accreditation of the medical school was withdrawn.

After going through the document presented by the VC, the Speaker said there were several deficiencies in the report which indicted the medical school. He said the VC might have been economical with facts of the matter when he claimed that the NUC withdrew the accreditation just because the school was under lock and key.

Hon Emmanuel Ndubuisi, Member representing Bende South State Constituency said few years ago, an Ad Hoc committee set up by the House interfaced with officials of Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, and that the officials expressed fears that the accreditation of the medical school might be withdrawn in no distant future.

Hon Ndubuisi said it was very disappointing that the fear which the team had then was allowed to come to fulfillment.

At that point the Speaker asked the Chief Medical Director of Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, Dr Offia Awa to step forward and interact with members of the House.

On taking the floor, the CMD explained to the House what transpired the day the NUC team visited, saying the loss of accreditation was because the team didn’t meet some medical staff on ground.

He further said that if government could maintain the monthly subvention due to the institution, the issue of salary payments would be a thing of the past.

The Speaker at that point announced that the House would continue to invite the officials till they get to the root cause of why the accreditation of the medical school was withdrawn.

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