Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

FG shutdown medical centre Owerri


Following the crisis bedevelling the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Owerri, the Federal Ministry of Health has ordered the temporary lock down of the centre.

The temporary closure the government said it will allow it to restructure and proffer long term solution to the issue.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, stated that the directive to temporary shutdown of the FMC, though painful as it may be, is to allow the government reorganize, re-strategize and redefine the rules of engagement.

Adewole however revealed that with immediate effect, an interim administration would be put in place to oversee the affairs of the institution and also carry out a staff audit so as to ensure proper restoration of services.

He said that, "FMC Owerri must work to deliver healthcare services to the Nigerian people because that is the mandate for which the Federal Government is maintaining over 2,500 people employed in this centre with the available meagre resources inclusive of tax payers money."

In explanation, the minister said the contentious issues were because of the proposal forwarded to the top management committee by the medical director, Dr. Angela Uwakwem, to introduce public private partnership in some revenue generating units of the hospital, in order to establish accountability and increase the revenue base of the facility.

He further stated that all allegations against the medical director by the union have holds no water following ‘conclusive investigations’ by the fact-finding committee.

The minister revealed that "as at the time he visited the centre with the view of restoring services in the hospital, the level of impunity been showed by the union was disheartening. Employees of government who have been getting their salaries regularly were all clad in black and chanting solidarity songs, been fully aware of the fact that FMC, Owerri is the only functional hospital in the state at the moment but still went ahead to disrupt services.

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