Following the reappointment of Professor Jesse Otegbayo as the chief medical director (CMD) of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, doctors under the aegis of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex (OAUTHC) Ile-Ife branch, have called on the Federal Government to fast-track the processes of appointing a substantive chief medical director for OAUTHC as stated in the University Teaching Hospitals Act.
The tenure of the erstwhile CMD of the facility, Professor Victor Adebayo Adetiloye, ended on the 30th of March, 2022, and Dr. Muyiwa Owojuyigbe (the former chairman, medical advisory committee) was subsequently appointed to head the institution pending the appointment of a substantive CMD.
The chairman of the MDCAN, OAUTHC branch, Dr Yomi Okunola, in a remark said the appointment of a substantive CMD is overdue in the interest of continued peace, sustained growth, efficient service delivery and overall development of the hospital, a major player in healthcare delivery in the sub-region.
“The association of senior doctors in the hospital is worried about the continued stagnation, delay and continuation of the process as a result of the buck-passing between the Federal Ministry of Health and the management board of the institution.
“The national leaderships of the MDCAN and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) are fully aware of the concerted efforts made by the local chapter of the association in a bid to help achieve a resolution of issues.
“It should be noted that OAUTHC is the only centre in the South-West out of the over 15 federal teaching hospitals and institutions with an acting headship for almost a year, and this development might not augur well for the system.
“All the potential applicants are our members and are eminently qualified to lead the institution. This must be diligently done in the interest of peace, fair play and posterity.
“We have a time-honored tradition and age-long practice of doing an independent referendum which is a sort of hard peer review process amongst ourselves, to select the best among equals. This was done on Tuesday June 7th, 2022 and the results communicated to the respective authorities to guide and help identify the right choice.”
“The association is aware that the sole prerogative of appointing the headship still lies within the purview of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. An unconfirmed report says that a short-listing process was carried out in the hospital by the establishment committee of the board on 19th of January, 2023.
“A total of six out of 12 applicants were shortlisted and the same list sent to Abuja for processing before it was deferred in view of the postponed gubernatorial election.
“The question remains whether this process would be allowed to proceed by the supervising ministry or not. This is in view of a recent directive from the FMOH to management boards of teaching hospitals to directly supervise the process at the Abuja headquarters of the ministry.”