Wednesday, 21 September 2016

University Of Calabar in Darkness Over Debt

Authorities of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital have disagreed with the Port-Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) over an estimated N36m bill that has thrown the tertiary health institution into darkness.

Following the development, investigation on Tuesday revealed that critical medical equipment had broken down, while the queue for patients expected to undergo surgeries has been on the increase.

Chief Medical Director of UCTH, Dr. Thomas Agan, said the action of PHEDC has crippled activities in the health institution.

Agan, who solicited the intervention of the National Assembly to prevail on the Federal Government to take over the management of electricity bills, called on distribution companies to apply caution when dealing with health institutions, as it could lead to unnecessary loss of lives.

He said, “One thing I want to let the public know is that a hospital is not a profit-making venture. All we do is service delivery and if you disconnect us, you have crippled the whole system.

“When the business manager led a team to disconnect us, we had six patients on the operating table. No matter how you want to make money, you do it with some degree of human face.

“I don’t know how they arrived at the estimated bill that has accumulated over time. Could it be that they just walked into the hospital premises to see the size before coming up with such a bogus amount as a bill.

“As I speak, because of this incessant power cut, most of our equipment have broken down. The radiology equipment and several other sensitive facilities have broken down.

“My appeal now is that either the Federal Government take over the servicing of power to the hospitals or bills coming in from the electricity company go directly to the Federal Government for settlement.”

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