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Reps committee worried as Ebonyi Govt re-possesses EBSUTH

The House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions, has expressed worry over the Ebonyi government’s re-acquisition of the State University Teaching Hospital from the Federal Government.

The federal government took over the hospital in January 2012 and merged it with the then Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.

The hospital was later renamed the Alex Ekwueme University Teaching Hospital (AE-FUTHA) by Former President Muhammadu Buhari in April 2019 in honour of the late former Vice President of the country, Dr Alex Ekwueme.

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on health institutions, Mr Amos Magaji, told newsmen on Thursday after a visit to the hospital that the situation was complex.

Magaji said the re-acquisition will pile more pressure on the management of the hospital and said the committee will review the development.

“The committee will look into the matter extensively and that is the reality we all face currently.

“We will invite the minister and other concerned bodies to present the issues in details for us to chart a course on it,” he said.

The committee chairman said the development also brought the issue of expansion for the hospital and advised the hospital on relevant steps to take.

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“We advised the hospital to immediately search for a permanent site as it does not have enough space for future expansion works.

“We also evaluated other challenges confronting the hospital and ways of appropriating more funds to solve these challenges,” he said.

Prof. Robinson Onoh, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, thanked the committee for the visit, suggesting that such visits should be regular to enable the committee interact with the management and see what is on ground at the hospital.

“I am optimistic that lots of goods will come with this visit as most of our challenges might be captured in the nation’s supplementary budget.

“We have a bunch of dedicated management and staff desirous to make the hospital an international referral centre,” he said.

NAN recalls that Gov. Francis Nwifuru on April 20, announced the state’s re-acquisition of its university teaching hospital, thereby de-merging it from the AE-FUTHA.

“The take over is to enable students of the state university, Abakaliki, pass through the hospital’s medical school.

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“The AE-FUTHA is seen as one institution and there is no way one institution can graduate students from two institutions.

“This will make the AE-FUTHA graduate medical students from the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, while the Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital graduates students from EBSU,” the governor had said. (NAN)

Chukwuemeka Opara
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