The Federal Medical Center, Owerri has been on lockdown for the past one month as workers protest an alleged move by the MD of the health center to privatize the hospital and sell off valued assets of the Federal Government owned health provider to family members and cronies. As ludicrous as this claim is, most people are buying it. The reality is that it is not possible for an individual to privatize a government owned asset without recourse to the Bureau for Public Enterprise and other agencies of government charge with the responsibility of overseeing such sensitive assignment.
This is the first time in a very long time that the FMC, will be in complete lock-down, without the usual ability to offer skeletal services to emergency patients. The entire unions in the hospital have been asked by their leaders to down tool, till the MD, Dr. Mrs. Angela Uwakwe is sacked. It is not the responsibility of workers to sack their supervisor, they may make such demand, but the responsibility to decide whether to do so or not lies with the employer, who is in this case, the Federal Ministry of Health, who will act on behalf of the Federal Government.
In a difficult investigation I embarked on, to determine the real cause of the problems within the FMCO, I made a very important discovery; the aggrieved workers are not really aggrieved because of the alleged mismanagement of the hospital by the MD, but they are opposed to the MD’s insistence on probity and accountability within the hospital. Core to their grievance is Medsoft; a medical software that ensures accountability within the hospital. Medsoft is designed to completely block waste and corruption through adequate digitization and central clinical documentation, coding, billing and revenue management in the hospital. Investigations show that this facility has been in the hospital since 2011, but the staff of the hospital have always found a way to either short-circuit its efficiency or completely circumvent its usage.
Trouble started this year, when the Management of the hospital led by Dr. Uwakwem, insisted that the working of the medsoft must be total. The pharmacy department which has so far been left out in the digitization was included. This will ensure that both the buying and dispensation of drugs within the hospital will be well documented and coded, to avert any form of waste or stealing of hospital drugs, or shortchanging the patients. It is a known fact that government pharmacists make a lot of money from hoarding, stealing and even swapping original drugs bought for the hospital. This mindless corruption is one of the reforms that is about to consume Dr. Uwakwem.
A staff of FMC, Owerri whom I interacted with undercover had this to say; “Madam wants to run this place like it is her father’s property, she does not want to leave any opening for workers to make extra money for themselves. That is why we are fighting her. She has to go with her digitization and ICT nonsense so that staff can make their money. Their is no amount of money they pay us that will be enough to take care of our numerous responsibilities if we do not have a way of making extra cash.” He boasted.
Be sure that Yours Sincerely will bring you the full and unbiased detail of what is really happening in that hospital as more facts unfold.
MAY TRUTH AND JUSTICE PREVAIL!