Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, has expressed disgust over the refusal of the Federal Ministry of Health to allow the state government acquire and convert the Federal Medical Centre to serve as a Teaching Hospital for Umar Musa Yar’Adua University. The development, Masari fears, might slow down his administration’s plan to develop the health sector.
Masari, who spoke to reporters over his two-week business trip to China and India, revealed that his administration has commenced a programme that will at the end of the day, ensure that the state gets a deserving teaching hospital that will serve the state-owned university to offer courses in Medicine.
According to him, over 600 medical staff will soon be recruited to serve in the health facilities that are already being put in place in the state.
Masari further explained that his dream was to ensure that before the end of his first tenure, the state-owned university would have commenced a School of Medicine, with a befitting Teaching Hospital.
He said: “You know we are very much concerned about our Eye Centre. We want to develop this Eye Centre to a department so that it can click into our plan of developing the supposed specialist hospital into a full-fledged teaching hospital.
“Right now, we have commissioned our consultants to come out with clear reasons why we are developing a teaching hospital. We are doing this because we have a university called the Katsina State University. This is a university which has started preparations to do Medicine and you cannot do Medicine without a teaching hospital.
“When we contacted the Federal Ministry of Health to see the possibilities of allowing the university to upgrade the Federal Medical Centre as a teaching hospital, they (government) told us that since we have a university in Katsina State, and probably in the future that university may start offering Medicine and will want the services of a Federal Medical Centre.
“So, in effect, they were saying that they will not give us! And so, the best option for us is to see how we are going to upgrade our own health facilities. Luckily enough, we have started working on Katsina General Hospital; and we have also contacted sons of Katsina State who are experts in the medical field.”
“We have also placed an advert for the recruitment of over 600 medical staff. Right now, we have employed the services of consultants. They are professionals in the medical field and they are going to offer professional services. Now, we are doing that, even in other sectors.
“For instance, our own university-the Umar Musa Yar’Adua University wants to start offering medical courses; and you cannot operate any department of Medicine without a standard Teaching Hospital. For this reason, we wrote to the Federal Ministry of Health, because Gombe was given a Federal Medical Hospital and it was updated to Teaching Hospital; Ebonyi was also given.
“So, on the basis of these two experiences, we wrote, and the Federal Ministry of Health replied us that they cannot, because they also have a federal institution right in the future in need of services of a Federal Medical Centre.
“I came back home, and asked myself-‘Why can’t we start looking at what we have and see how we can upgrade them.
“So, we invited our own professionals, and again, we have also invited international consultants, that will come and see how we can work with their own professionals. Like I told you, once you have somebody who was a managing director of a teaching hospital and a vice chancellor of a university for eight years, he is sufficiently equipped,” he said.
(Culled from National Mirror)