By Abolade Adewale
The provision of specialized medical care which usually involves advanced and complex procedures and treatment performed by specialists in state-of-the art facilities occurs at the tertiary healthcare institutions in Nigeria which are funded by either the federal or state government.
There are three levels of healthcare delivery in Nigeria, primary, secondary and tertiary and these are represented by the primary health centres; the general hospitals and the teaching hospitals respectively.
The patronage from clients and a good referral system are the main links between these levels. However, it has been established that only very few patients are referred to tertiary hospitals while the larger number of patients report directly to these hospitals without referral.
The non-usage of the referral system has led to the overcrowding which is experienced in tertiary health facilities with problems that can be managed at the lower levels. Highly skilled manpower and equipment are wasted on health problems requiring lesser resources to solve. This is the summation of happenings across the 48 teaching hospitals in the country.
In a place like Lagos State, there are over 20 million residents and in the quest for affordable healthcare, the belief is that the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) is the only place where quality healthcare can be received.
This has led to an over-stretching of services, personnel and the facilities within the hospital and it behoves the leadership of the hospital to know the steps to take in order to make it live up to expectations.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of LASUTH, Professor Adetokunbo O. Fabamwo, had confronted these issues in his one year in office. He has continued to make the hospital evolve in the provision of healthcare services in a way that can meet the demands of Lagosians. Within this short time frame, the CMD has brought tremendous growth to the hospital in various forms.
The Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, who was also a part of the pioneering team that evolved the institution in 2001, completed a renovation of the Psychiatry Ward and it has become an ultramodern ward, as of today. Also, the ancillary theatres in the hospital have been resuscitated, these are the LASEMS; Dental and Ophthalmology theatres.
Going further, the hospital, through a Private Public Partnership, will commence the production of oxygen in the hospital by February 2020, while an artificial eye production unit is currently functional and four new machines at the dialysis unit are being installed. All these efforts will stand the hospital out in the provision of outstanding medicare for Lagosians.
According to Prof Fabamwo, the provision of quality healthcare services to Lagosians and Nigerians is of utmost priority to the hospital, noting that, “In the area of clinical services, the hospital has new full-fledged, optimally equipped 8 bedded ICU; a 10 bedded stroke unit; modern Ear Nose and Throat ward and a new fully functional audiometry unit.”
The CMD noted that over N20 million has been expended on the purchase of various ophthalmic equipment which include, Zeiss Lumera 300 operating microscope; Tomey FT 1000 fully automated non-contact tonometer; Tomey SP 100 portable pachymeter; Unicos URK700 automated refractor and keratometry unit. The new X-ray machine in dental clinc, the Monopolar resectoscope set; Semi rigid ureteroscope; flexible ureteroscope and percutaneous nephrolithotomy set in Urology unit are parts of the equipment procured.
“In the area of utility, another achievement is the re-establishment of the Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) system that assure patients and their relatives of their safety within of the hospital. The hospital is being enhanced in the area of computerization and networking as an internet service company now provides internet in the premises and various units within the hospital have computers and printers. The hospital has purchased a heavy-duty utility truck and a new fully-fitted ambulance,” he said.
Asides all these, the hospital has enhanced electricity supply by installing solar powered solution in the medical and surgery emergency units as well as the theatres and MRC buildings.
Similarly, a 500KVA Generator has been installed at the Burns and Trauma Unit of the hospital located at the Gbagada General Hospital. These will address the incessant power outages at both locations.
The leadership team is also forming global alliances that will assist in the delivery of quality medicare to Lagosians, the University of Sweden will be donating a full complement Drug Analysis Laboratory to the hospital. There are other individuals, corporate, governmental and non-governmental organizations that have enhanced service delivery within the institution.
With all these giant strides of the Chief Medical Director, the hospital is acting in tandem with the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda of the current democratic administration being led by Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the Executive Governor of Lagos, wherein Healthcare and Environment is one of the cardinal pillars that will bring forth a Greater Lagos.
Professor Adetokunbo O. Fabamwo is optimistic that the hospital is poised to become the quaternary healthcare destination in Sub Sahara Africa as he charged all members of staff of the hospital to redouble their effort so that the institution can become a one-stop-shop for tertiary healthcare.
Abolade Adewale is a Public Affairs Analyst. He can be reached via email@example.com or on 07062021341
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