Rep Seeks Upgrade Of PHC Facilities To Relief Overstretched UUTH

The House of Representatives member for Etinan Federal Constituency has made a case for the upgrage of primary health care facilities to relieve the overstretched University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH). Mr Onofiok Luke stated this at the Nigerian Medical Association's (NMA) State Officers Committee Leadership and Strategic Session which recently took place in Uyo.

Luke who spoke on the topic "Leaders as Change Agents, said the discourse was apt as there seems to be serious drift in the services rendered by primary health care providers in the state. He observed that the association could influence and change the performances in the health sector in Akwa Ibom by ensuring the upgrade of facilities in the primary health centres to bring services close to people at the grassroots.

The National Assembly member explained that over the years, the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital which is supposed to provide referral health services to the people has been attending to issues that should be taken care of at the primary health care hospitals in the state.

He said the resultant effect was that many patients with minor health problems visit UUTH, thereby overstretching the facilities and sometimes puting pressure on staff who have to spend more time than usual just as available facilities and equipment were over used.

Luke told the gathering that he found the theme very essential as it had come at a time when leaders by virtue and nature of their duties should be agents of change as the society was constantly changing with various innovations that required changes too for effective service delivery.

"Today, nobody would have properly envisaged the public health pandemic that has bedevilled our world leaving behind its attendant economic consequences. COVID-19 has changed our world and as leaders in our different fields, we must lead the approach models for adjusting,

Luke said. He commended the Akwa Ibom governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, for giving priority to the health care of the people in his administration and for the proposed incremental allowances for health practitioners in the state. Said he: "The governor has given a total facelift to a lot of health care facilities in the primary and tertiary levels in the state to support efficient health care delivery.

The lawmaker prescribed that leaders should have proactive innovative gland, passion for principles and known for integrity but posses less concern for validation or affirmation. Whereas, they should have a high level of curiosity and learn the ability to master past failures and turn them into successes, which are attitude components a change agent needs to galvanise as a leader to achieve a desired result. He pointed out that to effect change, leaders in whatever capacity must be the first to acknowledge and develop dissatisfaction with the status quo.

According to him, in achieving this, the leader must be able to assess and evaluate the current and future levels of dissatisfaction that exists and as well find the dissatisfaction strong and unbearable potentials of change. He emphasized trainings for medical personnel to keep them in tune with latest technologies and equipment for use in the practice and also providing them with the perequisite support to enable medical doctors trained to become consultants in different fields of medicine.

Luke maintained that COVID19 pandemic has revealed what good governance and service means in the programmes of government and applauded the efforts of health workers to combat the effect of the disease in the state. He added that they should be motivated with incentives to keep standing in the front line of providing the nation with a healthy population to work for the development and prosperity of the state and country at large.

The state chairman, NMA, Dr Ime Udoh, assured that the NMA would not waiver in its commitment to partner the government to bring effective health care delivery in the state.

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