Former Special Assistant to immediate past Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio on Diaspora Affairs, Mr Clement Ikpatt has faulted a statement credited to Governor Udom Emmanuel that his predecessor did not fully equip the Ibom Specialist Hospital before leaving office.
The Governor’s comment seems to surprise many indigenes of the Akwa Ibom who recall that the same Udom Emmanuel was present during the formal opening of that hospital and admitted then with the full equipping of the medical facility.
Reacting to the allegation, Ikpatt reminded the Governor that the hospital at commissioning and at present has state of the arts facilities and blamed Governor Emmanuel’s administrative failure for the under utilisation of the medical facility.
According to Ikpatt, “Ibom Specialist Hospital (ISH), at it’s commissioning, had, and still has, some of the best equipment one can find in Nigeria, or even in the western world. So, it is ludicrous for anyone to assert that ISH is not well equipped”.
Continuing, he asked the Governor, “But, what are best equipment when not periodically recalibrated and revalidated according to standard best practices? I am afraid that many equipment in the ISH are out of specifications”.
“So, whether there is a deliberate holding back of operational funding or not, many things are working simultaneously to kill ISH in quick order and the Akwa Ibom State Government is playing dumb politics about them while crudely chipping away at the Akpabio legacy”, he declared.
He explained that part of the incompetence of the Udom administration that has undermined the optimum utilisation and efficient operation of the facility include, non payment of staff salaries which has been a protracted issue thereby forcing many of the foreign staff to go back to their home counties, conspired or self inflicted mediocrity of the hospital management which has been dysfunctional, contrary to the founding philosophy upon which the hospital was established which was to boost medical tourism in the country.
“It is obvious that needed marketing and other management approaches are seriously lacking”, Ikpatt submitted. He noted that the state had some well established medical consultants and managers who, in the USA and Europe, are top shelf personnel to run the hospital better, profitably and according to global best practices, and who had proposed and volunteered to offer professional services laced with patriotic zeal and industry experiences, wondering why they were ignored by the Udom Emmanuel government.
“We are politicizing the hard fall and reckless abandonment of Ibom Specialist Hospital not willing to accept that careless political talk or the deliberate killing of that hospital works against the our economy”, he admonished.