From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin

The Chief Medical Director (CMD), University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Prof Darlington Obaseki, has called on the federal government to increase the institution’s workforce to be able to meet up with the health needs of those who patronize the facilities.

Obaseki said the call became necessary due to the influxes of patients to the health institution on a daily basis.

He made the appeal when he paid a courtesy call to the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State Council.

Prof. Obaseki said the hospital began as a 360 bedded institution and has grown into a 900 bedded centre, making it the second largest hospital in Nigeria.

Obaseki said the hospital currently attends to about 400,000 patients annually with an average bed occupancy rate reaching 70 per cent (pre-COVID-19) and with a daily average of 1,006 patients in the Outpatient Clinics, 44 patients in the Emergency Room, 74 admissions and 54 discharges.

The CMD said that the hospital is one of the most utilized public hospitals in Nigeria.

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He said the hospital, being sited in a strategic location, is now a leading referral centre in the South-South region of Nigeria receiving referrals from 72 other healthcare facilities in Edo and neighbouring states.

He said the hospital is also involved in the training of middle and high-level manpower in the various disciplines of the health sector.

He added that the federal government should employ more healthcare workers to complement the total of 750 nurses currently working and assisting the doctors at the hospital noting that the workload is too much and the workers are being overstretched beyond the limit.

The CMD who spoke extensively on the just concluded 50th anniversary of the hospital, called for constructive criticism from members of the public when necessary.

Hj commended Journalists in the state for the reportage of the anniversary.

On his part, Chairman, NUJ Edo State Council, Festus Alenkhe, commended the CMD of the hospital for the feat over the years.

He said the union will always assist the hospital to succeed in all its ramifications.