Chief Medical Director of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, Christopher Amah, at the weekend, denied allegations of financial inducement for his second term reappointment. He also said the hospital would save over N120 million per annum from the review of its outsourced services.
Some medical doctors on the aegis of Association of Resident Doctors in the hospital had petitioned President Mohammadu Buhari accusing the medical director of corruption and insensitivity to the plight of patients.
They alleged gross irregularity in the re-appointment of Amah, saying the said action, which came more than six months before the expiration of his first tenure, was procured through financial inducement.
A statement signed by one Frank Uba further alleged degeneration in hospital facilities, lack of due process in employments, over bloated service and attempt to impose his candidate for the position of the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Council (CMAC) against the popular choice of the people.
Responding to the issues, Amah stated that his reappointment letter dated December 4, 2014, was signed by the then Supervising Minister of Health, Kaliru Alhassan, stressing that it took effect from May 17, 2015.
He said: “My predecessor had his second tenure renewed months before the expiration of the first tenure. It is the prerogative of the President. Once you are six or eight months to the end of your tenure, you start informing the Ministry; and, if you are interested in second tenure, you indicate so. What happens from the Ministry to the presidency is not within your control until you get a letter.
“By the grace of God, this is the miracle of this story. I as C. C. Amah, both for the first and second tenure never gave anybody a kobo. God is my witness; I can swear to that, with my name, the name of my family and children,” he said
On allegations of over-bloated service charges, Amah stated that he had saved the hospital millions of naira since he came into office in 2011, adding that his prudent management style was responsible for the resuscitation of some dead facilities at the hospital.
He informed that his insistence that a review be carried out on certain contracts entered into by the hospital before his assumption of office was responsible for the sustained attacks on his leadership, expressing joy, however, that he could summon the courage to review the contracts as well as block certain financial leakages.
Giving a breakdown of the figures from the reviewed outsourced services, he stated that cleaning services that was contracted out for over N6 million yearly had been reviewed to about N3 million with two contractors, while laundry services had also been reviewed downwards from over N6 million to about N1.5 million.
He said the hospital was paying over N8 million in security services to one security firm, but has now added two security companies to the tune of over N6 million.
Amah disclosed that cutting of grass within the hospital premises that was going on for about N12 million has been reviewed to about N3 million through the donation of slashers from a friend of the hospital.
“It is something to be happy about, because it will help us develop the hospital further,” he said. “Some of these services were contracted out for like for five years before we came on board.
“We waited for the contracts to elapse to be able to look at them again and we are happy to report that the hospital has made some great saves. Each month we are making about N10 million from these services from what we were paying,” Amah stated.
On the vacant position of CMAC, he said the hospital had recommended three persons the list of which had been sent to the Federal Ministry of Health from where a candidate would emerge, adding that the office remains vacant until further directives from the Ministry.
The hospital, according to him, had not embarked on any employment for some time now, adding however, that it became a potential avenue for people to rip off others, “because there are no jobs anywhere.”
He called for collective effort to move the hospital forward, adding that the resuscitated open-heart surgery, the reticulation of water supply in the hospital, remodeling of the wards, restoration of the oxygen plants, among very many others, should motivate the entire workforce. (The Guardian)